May 22

Quotes of the day from previous years:

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta be willing to put up with the rain. ~ Dolly Parton
The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle (born 22 May 1859)
A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

~ Alexander Pope (The date of Pope's birth was not definite when this was proposed for QOTD; he is said to have been born 22 May 1688, in The Life of Pope (1781) by Samuel Johnson, but apparently this was an error, for 21 May seems to have become the most widely accepted date.)
I should dearly love that the world should be ever so little better for my presence. Even on this small stage we have our two sides, and something might be done by throwing all one's weight on the scale of breadth, tolerance, charity, temperance, peace, and kindliness to man and beast. We can't all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle in "A Case of Identity"
The more we progress the more we tend to progress. We advance not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. We draw compound interest on the whole capital of knowledge and virtue which has been accumulated since the dawning of time. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Arthur Conan Doyle in The Sign of the Four

I will make my meaning more clear when I say that I think right and wrong are both tools which are being wielded by those great hands which are shaping the destinies of the universe, that both are making for improvement; but that the action of the one is immediate, and that of the other more slow, but none the less certain. Our own distinction of right and wrong is founded too much upon the immediate convenience of the community, and does not inquire sufficiently deeply into the ultimate effect.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle ~
I am not the law, but I represent justice so far as my feeble powers go.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle ~
~The Adventure of the Three Gables ~
My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle ~
It was easier to know it than to explain why I know it. If you were asked to prove that two and two made four, you might find some difficulty, and yet you are quite sure of the fact.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle ~
~ A Study in Scarlet ~
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Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


When we are mired in the relative world, never lifting our gaze to the mystery, our life is stunted, incomplete; we are filled with yearning for that paradise that is lost when, as young children, we replace it with words and ideas and abstractions - such as merit, such as past, present, and future - our direct, spontaneous experience of the thing itself, in the beauty and precision of this present moment. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

And only the enlightened can recall their former lives; for the rest of us, the memories of past existences are but glints of light, twinges of longing, passing shadows, disturbingly familiar, that are gone before they can be grasped, like the passage of that silver bird on Dhaulagiri. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

Today most scientists would agree with the ancient Hindus that nothing exists or is destroyed, things merely change shape or form…the cosmic radiation that is thought to come from the explosion of creation strikes the earth with equal intensity from all directions, which suggests either that the earth is at the center of the universe, as in our innocence we once supposed, or that the known universe has no center. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

To glimpse one’s own true nature is a kind of homegoing, to a place East of the Sun, West of the Moon—the homegoing that needs no home, like that waterfall on the upper Suli Gad that turns to mist before touching the earth and rises once again into the sky. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. This retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes unlived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

The glee of it. The ecstasy of It. I can't speak about this It because I know no word. It is just there, It is always there, like death in life. In this instant I know that something terrible is rising that must be seized and turned back upon itself before it twists outward into violence. But that knowing always comes too late, a wild unraveling is under way and I am caught up in it like a coyote seen late one afternoon in an Arkansas tornado-a toy dog spinning skyward, struck white by a ray of sun against black clouds, then black, then white, then gone and lost forever. The wind dies. A dead stillness. Mirror water. That ecstasy that shivered every nerve replaced by the precise knowing that what this self perpetrated is as much a part of the universal will as erupting lava that subsides once more into the inner earth. ~ Peter Matthiessen (dob: 1927 May 22) (goodreads quotes)

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