Part 3 - Quotes and Notes

If you have a little talent, improve it. It will prove to be the golden chain that will make something of you. And that one talent which is death to hide lodged with me useless tho' my soul more bent to serve therewith my Maker and present my true account. (John Milton the blind poet used his talent). Many dreams have long in my heart been lying faded, weary, and cold.

Keep clear of all troubling, maddening personal relations that are sure to end by poisoning you. If you don't, you will fall headlong into that dreadful mire that splashes indelible stains on your mind.

A smile costs nothing but creates much. It happens in a flash and the memory sometimes lasts forever. It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, but it is something that is no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry and rush you meet someone who is too weary to give you a smile, leave one of yours.

Never make a 24-hour storm out of anything. Don't brood and excite ourselves again and again over the same trouble or annoyance.

When you are tempted to hark back to those old grievances, snap out of it. You haven't time!

From Helen Keller after worshipping in a temple - "God seemed to walk invisible. This is a reparation for all the sorrow I have ever known."

The seven deadly sins of temperament.

  1. Introspectiveness: Paying exaggerated attention to one's own feelings and emotions.
  2. Sensitiveness and touchiness.
  3. Egotism - Can Never play a subordinate part.
  4. Brooding, morose, suspicious. Can't dispel misunderstandings.
  5. Bookish. Over-intellectual.
  6. Defective endurance.
  7. Not teachable.

I withdraw from the discords of the world to the divine songs of the poets - Steele, Addison, Dryden, Pope, Catullus. Study philosophy, for instance, Socrates' discourses on knowledge, friendship, immortality. Philosophy is the star in the dark passages of life. Plato, Descartes, Kant, Swedenborg.

Go, therefore, and do that which is in you to do. Take no heed of gestures which beckon you aside. Ask of no man permission to perform.

Emerson says everything in this world is cracked. Every person, every work of art - everything has its flaw. But there's so much good in everything we can overlook the flaw.

I believe I can do it. I know I can if I keep on trying. I may not be perfect in my first efforts, but these first faults I shall make my stepping stones to success.

Certainly you would fail the first time. That's to be expected. Success doesn't come so easily. It means work and defeat and defeat and work, and then more and more of both. It means suffering and all sorts of failures. Above all it means courage. Be reasonable and determined.

Dr. Frank Crane

The most magnificent spectacle in the whole world is a Human Being. The soul of man is mysterious and imposing. The force in man is like electricity, or gravity or any kind of energy. We can have Battles and catastrophes like Japanese earthquake, conquests like Napoleon or Caesar. A human being is unconquerable.

Hoist the Dutchman told his experiences - Japan earthquake - Home, business covered world (art objects). Earthquake, home destroyed. After quake came fire and burned everything, even steel safe melted. Labor of twenty years destroyed. Hoists out of city and kids at school. Moved to N. Y. City - defeated? Whining? Lose faith in God? No!

Cheerful, bright and happy as the sun. Thankful for life. Hoist got job in Oriental Dept. of big store, like young couple starting out at 21.

Nothing can defeat a man but himself!

Not all the spite of fate and the whims of an outrageous fortune can conquer the man who refuses to surrender. Tragedy, bitterness, self-pity, snivelling - are weakness. Mischief of men or angels can't defeat here.

A sermon - on three doors: What is important?

1st - All that troubles is but for a moment

2nd - All which pleases is but for a moment

3rd - That only is important which is eternal

Put yourself in line with the forces that govern your world. Out of touch with Creator means a life of chaos and trouble.

1. The arts lay their hands on men's heart strings.

2. Each of us has within ourselves a secret source of energy. We must probe deep to find it, but once found it will preserve us thereafter. (We will find inner spiritual refreshment). Merely going into a room apart and spending a few moments in prayer is the most sustaining sanctuary that man has ever discovered.

3. Soaring over the Atlantic in Clipper Planes, breakfast takes 50 to 75 miles. If three minute eggs are ordered, add 60 miles. Luncheon and dinner take 75 to 100 miles. An extra cup of coffee takes 25 miles, 10 to 15 miles for soup, 40 to 45 miles for a main course, 15 miles for salad and 15 miles for dessert.

4. Emerson says that everything in this world is cracked - every person, every work of art - everything has its flaw, but the majority of us see so much good in everything that we can overlook the flaws.

5. The frost pictures on windows in winter are real works of art. The ferns are copies of real ones; there are pine trees and sometimes little furry fellows with packs on their backs climbing a hill in Indian file.

6. Old people ride forever through a vast world of memories and dreams.

7. No use filling your pockets with money if you've got a hole in the corner.

8. "The one that spoke the loudest never said a word!"

9. Emerson says that if men and women were what they ought to be, nature would not enthrall us so. It is possible for men and women to be more beautiful than they are.

10. He is admired at a distance but he cannot come near without appearing a cripple. Protect yourself from him with solitude or courtesy or satire or acid worldly manner.

The softness and beauty of summer - the rainbow, the stirring of water by an imperceptible breeze, clouds floating overhead, the reflection of flowers and trees in glassy water, the delicately emerging stars, sunsets, and magical lights of the horizon, the melancholy music of old pine trees and in winter the fall of snowflakes in the still air and the Northern lights.

How disagreeable people can be! They unload on us. We have to bear bad tempers, hate, and jealousy.

Behavior is a mirror in which everyone displays his image.

- Goethe

A delightful factor in personality is the smile - a real smile, a heartwarming smile brings a good price in the marketplace. Don't criticize. Always appreciate. (Charles Schwab's million-dollar smile. Personality.)

A skillful speaker gets at the outset a number of Yes responses. He sets the psychological processes of his listeners moving in the affirmative direction like a ball propelled in one direction, and it takes some force to deflect it. People who give no yes responses have all their glands, nerves, and muscles gathered together into a condition of rejection. One can almost see the physical withdrawal. Yes responses are forward-moving - an accepting open attitude. The more Yes responses at the outset, the smoother goes the speech.

"Hatred is Never ended by hatred but by love. No man who is resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention. Still less can he afford to take the consequences. Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him contesting for the right."


A French teacher of a would-be author: Copy, copy! Imitate, imitate! Generations before you have accumulated ideas. Copy a French novel in longhand 800 pages! I once copied three or four paragraphs from Dorothy Canfield Fisher and first thing I learned was how many authors start their articles by using a prepositional phrase.

Sources of originality - reminiscences, prejudices, and convictions.

Mrs. Roxbourough of Jacksonville, Florida, the author of a book, said, "A book is not factual truth but you draw on your own experiences. When I was finding characters for my book they had such still faces and eyes that didn't smile. I took notes continually. For instance, I noticed the wind blowing in the tree tops and rattling the gourds. I made a note of that, you don't dream up characters. You live in their environment. Learn all you can about them. One day I saw a man with a wooden leg making holes in the ground. A lot of children were following him putting cabbage plants in the holes. By inquiry I found that he could outdrink and outswear any man in the neighborhood. My hero was a young airplane pilot that my husband and I saw land. I found some strange characters by going out to farms to buy eggs or chickens. One woman had lost a thumb on Christmas day. So she never celebrated Christmas on account of this. I found a harsh, bitter woman named Aunt Ludy. She was exactly what I wanted for my book. I found a girl musician - just what I wanted for my heroine. One of my characters took sick, and I didn't know enough about medicine to know what to do for her. So I happened to be at a dinner party where there was a doctor. I told him about my sick character and described her symptoms. Together we figured out a remedy and how to restore her to health. One trick is to have your character tell in its ignorant way things unclear in your own mind."

On no account brood over your mistakes. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean. Twenty years ago I was not the person I am now. Human beings are given free will to choose between insanity on the one hand and lunacy on the other. This idea amused Huxley (the author?) - maniacal self-torture and despairing suicide. Sanity is a rather rare phenomenon. Never take anything too seriously, least of all yourself.

Copy from Mary Lois' Christmas card:

Never a Christmas morning
Never an old year ends
But someone thinks of someone
Old days - old times - old friends.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again, may God hold
you in the palm of his hand.

Glenn Slack sent words of Old Songs:

No. 1
Ninety years she did sit in the old wooden rocker that stood by the wall,
She'd sit in the chair and she'd rock, rock, rock,
And you heard but the tick of the old brass clock.


No. 2
No more shall I roam save as a guest
O'er the evergreen fields that my fathers possessed.

From Macbeth - Shakespeare

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased. Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart.

Macbeth on Death - Shakespeare

Out! Out! brief candle, life's but a walking shadow - a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The rough part is only mental. Obstacles are present all right but your mental attitude is the important factor. Little faith, little results. Great faith, great results. Think your way to failure and unhappiness. Or think your way to success and happiness. The accumulated little negatives. Your mental attitude is more important than the obstacle. Every achievement in this world was once a creative idea. Constant mental emphasis on what you lack frustrates creative forces that give impetus. Potential ideas are in your mind; release them and develop them. In the subconscious our lives are largely governed.

Introduction | Personal Memories | Letters | Newspaper Articles  | Unfinished Stories | Miscellaneous Notes

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Gleanings of a Lifetime, by Alice Krumm (1879-1987)
Copyright 1998 by Bill Price
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