Quotes & Book Highlights

“ Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. ”

— Henry Miller on Writing

“ All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger, but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. ”

— Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

“ Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed. ”

— Terence McKenna, Unfolding the Stone

“ This Seattle was not something changed that I once knew. It was a new thing. Set down there not knowing it was Seattle, I could not have told where I was. Everywhere frantic growth, a carcinomatous growth. Bulldozers rolled up the green forests and heaped the resulting trash for burning. The torn white lumber from concrete forms was piled beside gray walls. I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction. ”

– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

“To my way of thinking, creating animation means creating a fictional world. That world soothes the spirit of those who are disheartened and exhausted from dealing with the sharp edges of reality, or suffering from a nearsighted distortion of their emotions. When the audience is watching animation, they are apt to feel either light and cheerful or purified and refreshed.”

– Hayao Miyazaki, Starting Point: 1979-1996

“ Breton spring, and a great onslaught of damp invades the coast. Fog on the sea, fog in the streets, fog in the mind. Madame Manec gets sick. When Marie-Laure holds her hand over Madame's chest, heat seems to steam up out of her sternum as though she cooks from the inside. ”

– Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

“ Forgiveness is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it. ”


“ Every human life seems to be drawn eventually, as if by some unspoken parallel, some tidal flow or underground magnetic field, toward the raw, dynamic essentials of its existence, as if everything up to that point had been a preparation for a meeting, for a confrontation in an elemental form with our essential flaw, and with what an individual could until then, only receive stepped down, interpreted or diluted. ”

– David Whyte, Consolations

“ How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top. ”

“ The more you know, the less you need. ”

“ You are what you do, not what you say you are. ”

“ Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity. ”

– Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing

“ Just at the end of an interview I was giving recently, the young girl who was asking me all the questions made the comment that I was very 'lucky'.

At the time of that interview, I guess I must have been in a bit of an emotional mood, because my response to her casual comment surprised me. Instead of just shrugging it off and making some innocuous comment, I started to tell her a story. In a soft, low voice, I described some of the events of the past fourteen years… of working as a ‘salaryman’ in Canada, but having a dream of becoming a printmaker… of saving and saving from my salary, living as frugally as possible… of then leaving that safe, secure job, and the country where I grew up… of taking my wife and two little babies to a new, strange country, where I didn’t speak the language, where I didn’t have a job, where I didn’t even have a visa … of then working day and night for years at teaching English, making toys, re-writing translations … of seeing my printmaking dream fade farther and farther away … of seeing my wife leave for another country, because she couldn’t see what I could see, that it was possible to attain the dream, if only we worked just a bit harder, and waited just a bit longer… of then taking the biggest plunge, quitting all the other work and trying to fly on my printmaking wings (at the time, still very, very undeveloped) … of falling lower and lower, coming so close to losing everything… and then finally, finally getting enough support to sustain my work and life… Was I wrong in telling her of these things? Was it wrong for my eyes to fill up as I then quietly said to her, 'And now, a young girl sits in my room and says: You are so lucky’ ”

– David Bull, Spring 1995 newsletter