Many of us have favorite words that we revisit — quotes, scriptures, or lyrics that inspire and encourage us. The following Dr. Seuss quote has been hanging on my refrigerator since college. It has moved to three different houses with me and continues to serve as a needed reminder to keep things in perspective.


Below are some of my cherished inspirations. I’d love for you to share the words that get you through.

A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.

-Mary Oliver

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

– Jeremiah 33:3 (Holy Bible)

When you’re writing, you’re conjuring. It’s a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you’re inviting into the room.

-Tom Waits

Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled—to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world. I want to believe I am looking into the white fire of a great mystery.

-Mary Oliver

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the world is night, shine my life like a light.

-Indigo Girls

Go on, stand in the sun that traveled
96 million miles to blow your flowers open.

-Adam Aaron Gray from “Open Invitation (for T.S.)”

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

-John Muir

For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

-Luke 6:45 (Holy Bible)


The earth keeps some vibration going

There in your heart, and that is you.

And if the people find you can fiddle,

Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.

-From “Fiddler Jones” by Edgar Lee Masters (Spoon River Anthology)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

-Isaiah 43:18-19 (The Holy Bible)

I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn’t flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.

-Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?”

― Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)

For a time / I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry (The Peace of Wild Things)

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of–something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it–tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest–if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself–you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’ We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the things we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

-C.S. Lewis

Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not really the fish they are after.

-Henry David Thoreau

Life is good. Don’t miss it.


3 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. The last quote reminds me of the beginning of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in the monologue after he fakes out his parents: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

    Liked by 1 person

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