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We were loading in a show at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center when a scribble of graffiti on an elevator door caught my eye - "Know thyself." Damn good advice I thought, so I wrote it down in a little blank book. Since then, whenever I come across a quote I think is a keeper, I write it down in that book. Here's what I have so far:

Self conquest is the greatest of all victories. ~ Plato

It loved to happen. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Poetry, in its nature, is sacred to the good and great; the relation between them is reciprocal, and they are ever propitious to it. It is the privilege of poetry to address to them, and it is their prerogative alone to give it protection. ~ William Congreve, The Way of the World

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon

The moving finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on: nor all your piety nor wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

~ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high. ~ Thoreau, Walden

Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again. ~ Tching-thang

I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. ~ Thoreau, Walden

Absence diminishes the mediocre passions and augments the greater, as the wind extinguishes the candle and intensifies the fire.

L'absence diminue les mediocres passions et augmente les grandes, comme le vent eteint les bougies et allume le fur.

~  La Rochefoucauld

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt? ~ Socrates, last words

They have rights who dare defend them. ~ Roger Baldwin

Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible. ~ Unamuno

Utopia must begin with the body of man. ~ Plato

A light yellow branch after the frost

Opened and spread as the pale evening sun.

Nothing matters when facing the southern hill,

With a cup of wine in hand.

There is enough grain for meals in my hermitage

~ Hsueh Wu

The plains stretch far into the distance

Utterly flat, without a single hill.

Can 1000 cash buy the song of a bird?

Can 10,000 horses neigh as loud as the wind roars?

Could Tu Fu, the brilliant poet, run an onion shop?

Could Wang Jung, the elegant official, have been a bartender?

I grew old and mad for no reason.

A tall man is not necessarily better than a little man.

~ Ni Yuan Lu

Through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm and even a disposition for justice. When the modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them. ~ Plato

And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding: who yearn not for goods or for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battlefield to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose heaven is not power, but truth. These are men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world. ~ Plato

Nothing can be attained without suffering. But at the same time, one must begin by sacrificing suffering. ~ Gurdjieff

It is a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best you often get it. ~ Somerset Maugham

O my soul, do not as pie to immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible. ~ Pindar, Pythian iii

Play for more than you can afford to lose and you will learn the game. ~ Churchill

What is life but a series of inspired follies? ~ Shaw

The hidden harmony is stronger than the visible. ~ Heraclitus

When you're through changing, you're through. ~ Alfred P. Sloan

But life is just a party, and parties weren't meant to last. ~ Prince

Slow is the experience of all deep wells; a long time must they wait to know what fell into their depth. ~ Nietzsche

Life needn't be grey

Though it's changing day by day

Though a few old dreams my decay

Play, orchestra, play.

~ Noel Coward

I am not a thing - a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process, an integral function of the universe. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

To be an artist means never to avert ones eyes. ~ Akira Kurosawa

Art is the lie which makes us realize the truth. ~ Picasso

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. ~ Melville


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