* All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have
done good work, although they may die before they have the time
to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has
left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the
tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an
open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and
planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their
mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped
up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in
such a termination? and does not life go down with a better
grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably
straggling to an end in sandy deltas?
- Robert Louis Stevenson in "Aes Triplex" (1878)
* Brief and powerless is man's life; on him and all his race the
slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.
- Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic, ‘A free Man's Worship’
* I compare human life to a large mansion of many apartments,
two of which I can only describe, the doors of the rest being as
yet shut upon me.
- John Keats, letter to J. H. Reynolds, 3rd May 1818
* The sea is only beautiful if there's a shore. Life is like
the sea. There'll be a direction to follow even if you sail
more than one day or one life... the promise of a new land
is your guide, because you know that the sea is a huge world
that's beautiful only if there's a shore.
- Patricky Field, as quoted in Beautiful if there's a shore
(2008) song by Patricky Field
* To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of
becoming, is the only end of life.
- Robert Louis Stevenson in Familiar Studies of Men and
* Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but
by the moments that take our breath away.
-> Claimed by Erica Frandsen in Kochmer, Casey;
* Life is the distance between dreams and reality.
- Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything (2005)
* Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other
-John Lennon, in "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" (1980)
Living should be perpetual and universal benediction.
o Wei Wu Wei in Why Lazarus Laughed : The Essential
Doctrine, Zen — Advaita — Tantra (2003)
* Life as we call it, is
nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence
when it comes upon soundings.
o Oliver Wendall Holmes
* Life is before you,— not earthly life alone, but life—
a thread running interminably through the warp of
o Josiah Gilbert Holland
* O thou child of many prayers!
Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!
Care and age come unawares!
o Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
* We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in
retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it
eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We
write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it.
- Anaïs Nin, entry for February 1954, in The Diary of Anaïs
Nin, Vol. 5 as quoted in Woman as Writer (1978) by Jeannette
L. Webber and Joan Grumman-