One of my hopes for this year is to begin a commonplace book.
That’s not happened yet, but the year is still young. While my commonplace book is yet to materialize, I have been thinking about the types of quotes I hope to include, and that led me to thinking about bits from different books that I think about often.
Below are five quotes that deserve a spot in my not-yet-existent commonplace because of how they’ve met me and formed my imagination for the good life.
Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers? Why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half earth's gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become.
Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret
They could fall in love with fresh, new people, or they could have the courage and humility to tear off some essential layer of themselves and reveal to each other a whole new level of otherness, a level far beyond what sort of music they liked. It seemed to her everyone had too much self-protective pride to truly strip down to their souls in front of their long-term partners.
Cara Wall, The Dearly Beloved
‘Dearly beloved,’ he began. They were the words that started weddings, not baptisms, but the people in the church were his beloved, so dear that as he spoke his heart and throat grew tight. He loved every person in this church more than he would have ever thought possible, loved them not with the automatic love of childhood or the easy love of coincidence, but with the tautly stitched love of people who have faced uncertainty together, who have stuck it out, the strong love of people who looked to their side while suffering and saw the other there.
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change, stimulus: that petition, too, seemed swept off into vague space: "Then," I cried, half desperate, "grant me at least a new servitude!"
Here a bell, ringing the hour of supper, called me downstairs.
J. Ryan Stradal, The Lager Queen of Minnesota
She was petite back then, and wasn’t anymore, but her power was that she’d always acted like she had the exact body she was supposed to have, at every age, like most men did.
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Note for our next conversation: talk commonplace book!
I've never heard of the Lager Queen, but maybe I need to read it! Love that quote.