I don't know how I feel about the word “inspiring” in this context. I'm just going to go with “Quotes I Love.” Actually, yanno, I do know how I feel about the word “inspiring.” I don't like it. It tends to mean trite, and photoshopped, and in pastels. Not for me.
Also, I only have five. Why five? Because that's how many I have. Don't question, mmkay?
(In actuality, these are just the quotes I genuinely love. If I don't have it practically memorized, if I don't think of it frequently, and/or if it hasn't been my email signature at some point in time . . . it didn't make the cut.)
“You like to tell true stories, don't you?” he asked, and I answered, “Yes, I like to tell stories that are true.”
Then he asked, “After you have finished your true stories sometime, why don't you make up a story and the people to go with it? Only then will you understand what happened and why. It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us.”
—Norman MacLean, from A River Runs Through It
You can tell a true war story by the questions you ask. Somebody tells a story, let's say, and afterward you ask, “Is it true?” and if the answer matters, you've got your answer . . . Absolute occurrence is irrelevant. A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.
—Tim O'Brien, from The Things They Carried
Men that look upon my outside, perusing onely my condition, and fortunes, do erre in my altitude; for I am above Atlas his shoulders. The earth is a point not onely in respect of the heavens above us, but of that heavenly and celestiall part within us: that masse of flesh that circumscribes me, limits not my mind: that surface that tells the heavens it hath an end, cannot perswade me I have any; I take my circle to be above three hundred and sixty, though the number of the Arke do measure my body, it comprehendeth not my minde: whilst I study to finde how I am a Microcosme or little world, I finde my selfe something more than the great. There is surely a peece of Divinity in us, something that was before the Elements, and owes no homage unto the Sun.
—Sir Thomas Browne, from Religio Medici
I have given my love to what is worthy of love. Is that not the kingdom and the unperishing spring?
—Ursula K. LeGuin, from The Farthest Shore
But yield who will to their separation
my object in living is to unite
my avocation and my vocation
as my two eyes make on in sight.
Only where love and need are one
and work is play for mortal stakes
is the deed ever really done
for heaven and the future's sakes.
—Robert Frost, from Two Tramps in Mud-Time