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January 1st

Soon we will have completed our annual list of good intentions. Across the country there are millions of cigarettes waiting to be stomped out, tons of fat waiting to be lost, miles to be run, lives to be organized, selves to be improved.
Once again, we will pass resolutions as if we were our own Congress, legislating changes in our lives. On a million scraps of paper, we will publish an updated catalog of promises to be filed on the shelf of the self….
But I have a feeling that our resolutions have more to do with controlling our lives than enriching them….
We spend Jan. 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a punch list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. We decide that it’s time to get a painful grip on ourselves….
But life improvement is not just a matter of discipline, self-control. It’s a matter of expansion, the deliberate pursuit of happiness….
We ought to walk through the rooms of our lives a second time, not looking for the flaws, but for potential.
~Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe, December 1982

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Winter Quote ~ Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snowmen
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing,
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.
~Ogden Nash

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Mark Twain On Clothing

  After all, what is the purpose of clothing? Are not clothes intended primarily to preserve dignity and also to afford comfort to the wearer? Now I know of nothing more uncomfortable than the present day clothes of men. The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.
The best-dressed man I have ever seen, however, was a native of the Sandwich Islands, who attracted my attention thirty years ago. Now, when that man wanted to don especial dress to honor a public occasion or a holiday, why he occasionally put on a pair of spectacles. Otherwise the clothing with which God had provided him sufficed. ~Mark Twain, 1906

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Winter Afternoons

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are….
When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death.
~Emily Dickinson, c.1861

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Age

And never say you are too old. You do not say it now, perhaps; but by and by, when the hair grows gray and the eyes grow dim and the young despair comes to curse the old age, you will say: “It is too late for me.” Never too late! Never too old! How old are you—thirty, fifty, eighty? What is that in immortality? ~Lyman Abbott, “Out of the Past,” sermon preached in Appleton Chapel, Harvard College, Sunday evening, March 26, 1899