I have a page of quotes in a file on my computer. Now and then I browse through them to see if they still grab me in the same way. I spend some interesting hours looking at my life through other people’s eyes. Some examples:
"A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner." Louis L’Amour
My own head, house for my own thoughts, is decorated with cheery scraps of bright ideas amid the mundane, more serviceable notions I entertain. I reside inside my thoughts, creating with my hands a place for the rest of me to live. My mind is aswirl with thoughts that didn’t originate there but grew from seeds planted by others, notions heard or read that I’ve mulled over and mulched and pruned and grafted until they’ve become hybrids. They are my thoughts now, some as familiar as an old bathrobe, some as new as a housewarming gift. My thoughts, my things—looking at them this way is like coming suddenly upon my own reflection, realizing, “Oh! That’s me!” simultaneously with, “Is that what I look like?”
"All really great thoughts are conceived while walking." Friedrich Nietzsche
I would have agreed wholeheartedly until I remembered that most of my great thoughts came to me while exercising my backside in the rocker by the window. Or when I’m in that nebulous place between sleeping and waking, or when I’m leaning against a tree staring into the sun-dappled woods, or lying prone in a meadow with the great blue bowl of sky overhead. I walk briskly when I need to work things out and slowly when things need mulling over, but my comets seem to fire most when I’m at a standstill.
"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." Aaron Rose
Too often, I think, we hold back from realizing the ordinary can be extraordinary. Too bad. Look at what we miss by relegating the familiar to such a judgment. We don’t notice how often the rising sun paints the morning sky the color of rose petals, how it gilds the grass, and casts long shadows that shrink to puddles by noon. How, late in the afternoon, the light can take on a shimmer and how, when evening draws the day to a close, the sun sinks behind a canopy of crimson velvet clouds, trailing bright banners of pink that fade slowly into dusk. We think of snow as a nuisance we have to plow, ice as something designed to make us slip and fall, rain as a dampener to all our outdoor plans. Our lives take on narrower boundaries. We look, then, to the exotic to stimulate and please us, believing to our own detriment that what is familiar is too common and plain to ever be wondrous.
"Life ain’t nothing but a funny, funny riddle." John Denver.