Tag: November 2017 Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: Perspective


“A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.” — Alan Kay

I ran across this and, after @rayharvey’s conversation, it seemed appropriate. I have often found it to be true. In some circles, a phrase is used, “You can’t solve the problem on the level of the problem.” Trying to shift perspective and see things in new ways can be a very powerful experience and transform problems into wonderful new opportunities.

Quote of the Day: The Tree


“There was one picture in particular which bothered him. It had begun with a leaf caught in the wind, and it became a tree; and the tree grew, sending out innumerable branches, and thrusting out the most fantastic roots. Strange birds came and settled on the twigs and had to be attended to. Then all round the Tree, and behind it, through the gaps in the leaves and boughs, a country began to open out; and there were glimpses of a forest marching over the land, and of mountains tipped with snow. Niggle lost interest in his other pictures; or else he took them and tacked them on to the edges of his great picture. Soon the canvas became so large that he had to get a ladder; and he ran up and down it, putting in a touch here, and rubbing out a patch there. When people came to call, he seemed polite enough, though he fiddled a little with the pencils on his desk. He listened to what they said, but underneath he was thinking all the time about his big canvas, in the tall shed that had been built for it out in his garden (on a plot where once he had grown potatoes).” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle.

All projects, whether they be simple writing assignments or elaborate paintings, tend to take on a life of their own, especially if not rigidly defined in advance. Sometimes they turn into masterpieces, sometimes into ill-defined messes. Tolkien wrote this as something of an allegory for his own struggles as a writer, for as famous as he is for Lord of the Rings, he actually published very little else in his own lifetime.

Quotes of the Day: Ben Franklin on the Turkey


For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

(from a letter to his daughter)

QOTD: “In Vino Veritas”


“In Vino Veritas” (Latin) “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” (Greek) “In Wine There is Truth.” — Erasmus, Adagia I.vii.17

“Drunken old fool.” My mother pulled me away from the old man, grabbed me by the arm with one hand, my sister by the arm with the other, and she led us around the corner, where we walked up the steps to the second floor of our apartment building on Babcock Street in Brookline, MA.

We’d been living there for three weeks, ever since we got off the plane at Boston’s Logan Airport, our port of entry to the United States. Dad was settling in at Harvard, where he was a new Fellow at the Center for International Affairs. My mother was, in her rather haphazard way, settling into life as a Stay At Home Mom (I believe the term at the time was, simply, housewife), caring for my two-year-old sister and trying to placate the woman we called “Fanlight Fanny” in the apartment below, who wasn’t best pleased to have a clumsy toddler making noises and dropping things on our floor/her ceiling at odd times of the day and night. Periodically, Fanny would show up at our door in robe and pink curlers, brandishing the very broomstick she used to bang on her ceiling (I imagined it pockmarked with craters like the surface of the moon) cursing up a storm, like a character from a Frank L. Baum children’s’ book. Mother would listen politely, make sympathetic and apologetic noises, then close the door and swear loudly and colorfully, as only she could.

Southern Soul Food


“All soul food is southern food, but not all southern food is soul food.” ― Cassandra HarrellSoul Food Lovers’ Cookbook

As I’ve mentioned on here before, my family loves to cook. I’m about to head back down to Arkansas for Thanksgiving with husband and cat in tow. Already my mother has a group message on Facebook, planning out the menu and it’s getting pretty elaborate. I’m going to contribute bacon and Brussels sprouts, a big chocolate cake, a couple jars of pickles that I made this summer, and a 1-lb. bag of the best caramels Montana has to offer for our glorious feast.

Quote of the Day: History and Monuments


“You can wipe out entire generations, burn their homes to the ground, somehow they’ll find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements, then it’s as though they never existed.” — George Clooney in the movie The Monuments Men

I love this movie, the humor, the actors, the message. The true story that the movie is based on, however, is far from funny.

Great works of art from around the world — sculptures, paintings, priceless heirlooms, altar pieces — were stolen from museums, family homes, synagogues, and churches, intended to become the personal, prized possessions of Hitler and his regime. Thousands and thousands of important pieces of history were loaded up on rail cars and trucks to be shipped to storage facilities, salt mines, and various other hidden places — pieces of civilization that told the story of culture, country, faith, an era, with all its flaws, its magnificence, its talent. In the event of military defeat, it was all ordered destroyed.

Exhaustion (and Snow!)


“Winston was gelatinous with fatigue.” ― George Orwell1984

It’s been snowing like crazy in Montana the past couple of days. Once I saw that we’re supposed to get another foot in the forecast, I decided late last night to shovel out the driveway so I could clear off my car and go get the necessary supplies.

My conversation with my husband went something like this: