“Tell me, what is it you plan to do. . .

. . . with your one wild and precious life?”
That’s one of my favorite lines of poetry. It’s from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day.” Lines from poetry, lyrics from songs, and thoughtful quotations all get my creative juices flowing, and as I think about the sequel to BEFORE THE STORM, I’m focusing on that Mary Oliver line because it fits the story so well and will keep me on track in terms of theme. It also helps keep me on track from a more personal perspective. It reminds me not to waste a moment of the life I’ve been given. Words, put together just right, can have such power!
What words resonate with you? Inspire you? Keep you grounded?


  1. Kathy Holmes on July 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Music and lyrics also inspire me. That’s a great line you quoted! I may have to say, for me, it would be Robert Browning’s “Grow old with me. The best is yet to be.” That’s pretty much my philosophy and what I try to imbue in all of life – living it and writing it.

  2. Julie on July 25, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Hey, aren’t you supposed to be, like, sleeping or something?! LOL (It is Wednesday, isn’t it?)
    I like this one:
    “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.”
    -Rainer Maria Rilke

  3. Diane Chamberlain on July 25, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    So interesting, the words that speak to us! Kathy, your Browning quote is romantic and optimistic. Julie, your Rilke quote (love Rilke!) is mystical, open, and accepting. I just learned something about each of you.

  4. Margo on July 26, 2007 at 9:20 am

    For me its more the visual experiences that inspire me however I have a favorite quote that I keep posted in my studio called THE OPTIMIST CREED that I love…from the 10 lines I like the following 2 best: ‘make all your friends feel that there is something in them & give every living creature you meet a smile’…’be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble’.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on July 26, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Margo, those words really fit the “you” I’ve come to know via the blog and Internet. I find quotations like those we’re discussing very “centering” and anxiety-reducing. Here’s another favorite “Pain is inevitable; Suffering is optional.” I’m not sure to whom that should be attributed because I’ve read it in so many places, but I’ve seen at least one attribution to the Dalai Lama. I try to remember it when Rheumatoid Arthritis kicks in and I want to whine! Sometimes, though, nothing helps as much as a good whine. And you may quote me on that. 🙂

  6. Margo on July 26, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Diane, ‘pain is inevitable; suffering is optional’…I love that and how true it is. I will post those words in my studio also, but will take your advise and remember to whine occasionally if I have to. (-:

  7. Kathy Holmes on July 26, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I often wake up in the middle of the night to write. 🙂 Great post, Diane, and I’m loving everybody’s comments.

  8. Margo on July 26, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Kathy, I wake up in the middle of the night too. I find myself painting a little in the wee hours of the morning and always, always eat chocolate!

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