Tuesday, January 9, 2007

How To Live a Life

My neighbor died today.

In thinking about his life, about the fragility of life, about what I want to frame and direct and ground my life, I come back to this quote from William Ellery Channing:
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never--in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.

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