I have a little notebook with a cover like the Penguin Books version of Orwell’s 1984, two orange stripes framing the title spelled out in the center and the classic penguin eyeing me from between the words “complete” and “unabridged.” I regularly lose and rediscover this notebook over the course of the year. When I know where it is, I use it to record my favorite quotes, snippets of poetry, or bits of dialogue from various sources. Whenever I lose it and find it again, I reread the whole thing, reminding myself of what was important to me when I wrote down that batch of quotes, that particular conversation from the TV show Bones, this epigraph from a novel I’ve otherwise forgotten.
So here they are:
The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow sharp as swords.
In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of the traveller who would report them.
And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gate should be shut and the keys be lost.
For the longest way round is the shortest way home. ~Mere Christianity, CS Lewis
Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence. ~Tennessee Williams
The words we take into ourselves help to shape us…They build and stretch and build again the chambers of our imagination. ~The Child That Books Built, Francis Spufford
Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small. ~Virginia Woolf
Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith. And yet I continue to live in a world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone. I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wander. And yet glimmers of holy keep interrupting my gaze.
~Still, Lauren Winner
People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live and why.~The Storyteller, Arabian Nights