Jean Croker Petke


Quotes for 2019:

It matters not where or how far you travel — the farther commonly the worse — but how much alive you are. — Henry Thoreau


Quotes for 2018:

Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. — David Lynch

No one know what your life or life itself should be because it is in the process of being created. Life moves according to a growing consciousness of life and is completely unpredictable. — Agnes Martin

To learn for learning’s sake, not because it’s going to get you something, necessarily, but because you have faith that the things that interest you will help you become who you need to be. — Austin Kleon

Books are frozen voices, in the same way that musical scores are frozen music. The score is a way of transmitting the music to someone who can play it, releasing it into the air where it can once more be heard. And the black alphabet marks on the page represent words that were once spoken, if only in the writer’s heard. They lie there inert until a reader comes a long and transforms the letters into living sounds. The reader is the musician of the book: each reader may read the same text, just as each violinist plays the same piece, but each interpretation is different. — Margaret Atwood

Maybe I’ll just wish you the power of questions . . . — L. L. Barkat 

I have the old beginner’s dilemma. I have lots of life experience and lots of material, much of it exotic and some quite disturbing, but I don’t always know how to approach it to achieve fictional truth. . . It’s not that I’m so old that I already feel the breath of eternity. When that time comes, it’ll be something new to write about. But I am more aware that life doesn’t go on forever, and no writer really has time to waste. — Corey Flintoff

Don’t say it’s easy, don’t say it’s hard, don’t say a word about how you think it will go . . . — Austin Kleon

This is the place to start; there can be no other. — Beryl Markham

No horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it. — Beryl Markham


From Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer — a book full of wisdom nuggets, of which I share a few:

  •  We are taught to listen to everything and everyone but ourselves. . . we listen for guidance everywhere except from within.
  • The soul speaks its truth only under quiet, inviting, and trustworthy conditions.
  • We ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others.
  • Before we come to that center, full of light, we must travel in the dark.
  • We are lead to truth by our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
  • Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have.
  • Cultivating the truth is the authentic vocation of every human being.
  • I can make something of both my gifts and my limitations.
  • The God I know is the source of reality rather than morality, the source of what is rather than what ought to be.
  • If we are to live our lives fully and well, we must learn to embrace the opposites, to live in a creative tension between our limits and our potentials.
  • If we do not understand that the enemy is within, we will find a thousand ways of making someone “out there” into the enemy, becoming leaders who oppress rather than liberate others. . .Good leadership comes from people who have penetrated their own inner darkness and arrived at the place where we are at one with one another.
  • Because there is no way out of one’s inner life, so one had better get into it. On the inward and downward spiritual journey, the only way out is in and through.
  • By allowing something to die when its time is due, we create the conditions under which new life can emerge.
  • We do not need to be the fear we have. . .we can choose to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear.
  • Thomas Merton: “the paradox of hidden wholeness”: opposites do not negate each — they cohere in a mysterious unity at the heart of reality.
  • Despite all appearances, nature is not dead in winter — it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring. . .before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing buy mud and muck.

Quotes from Elsewhere:

Hold God as the intention of your heart. — Brett Backus

The first step in crafting a life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t. — Joshua Becker

Excellence in the great things is built upon excellence in the small. — John Updike

If it’s not helping you achieve your goals, ignore it. — Seth Godin

It’s worth noting that no unbridled horse has ever won an important race. — Seth Godin

If you don’t use your power, it will leave you for someone who will. —  Frank Delaney

A spinning coin, still balanced on its rim, may fall in either direction. — E. Annie Proulx

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. — Haruki Murakami

It is enough to comprehend only a small part of life. He is content knowing that there is much he will never understand. — Per J Andersson

I often think of my favorite line from Groundhog Day:

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”

   How you answer that question is your art. — Austin Kleon

There is always another way. If you feel stuck, it is not because there isn’t another way, it’s because you may just not see the other way… yet. — Chelsea Dinsmore

Today I deliberately reflect on where my current momentum is taking me because I am the captain of my ship and I need to remember to steer. — Colleen Mariotti

You are enough, imperfection is your beauty. — Lisa at Simple and Soul

What we have is always more than enough. — Marc and Angel

Contentment is not the satisfaction of want; it’s the pursuit of having enough. — Lisa Avellan

The imagination, like any basic human capacity, needs exercise, discipline, training, in childhood and lifelong. — Ursula K. Le Guin

If I recall my childhood, I recall that house. It is where everything happened. It is where I happened. — Ursula K. Le Guin

All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Home is imaginary. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Happy people have the ability to distract themselves and move on, whereas unhappy people get stuck ruminating and make themselves more and more miserable. — Barry Schwartz

Comparison is the thief of joy. — Theodore Roosevelt

How you see where you are always depends on where you’ve been. — Jacqueline Novogratz

When your output exceeds your intake, your upkeep becomes your downfall. — Paul Harvey

These mountains have a quality of majesty and craggy exaltation that suggest Beethoven to me. — Leonard Bernstein

We all grow old alone — even when there’s another person sleeping in the same bed. — Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

Power doesn’t negotiate with anyone, only with itself. – Paulo Coelho

Climb those rungs quickly before they take the ladder away. — Paulo Coelho

Transformations always occur during moments of crisis. — Paulo Coelho

Whenever I’m told to go after “low-hanging fruit,” I think of drawing a cartoon with two characters standing over a tombstone.

“He picked the low-hanging fruit,” one says.

“Yeah,” says the other. “But he never climbed the tree.” — Austin Kleon

If you ever find yourself at a crossroads, at a stopping point, or stuck somewhere, it’s often not a lack of resources but rather a lack of being creative. — Chelsea Dinsmore

Do not bubble. Do not spin your wheels. Use words I know. — Kurt Vonnegut

Worry gives a small thing a big shadow. — Swedish proverb

Find your metaphors where no one’s looking. — Rebecca Solnit

She made a mistake. It happens. We are none of us perfect. — Paula Hawkins

It doesn’t matter who they are. It matters how they make me feel. — Paula Hawkins

Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.  — Paula Hawkins

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you want to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. — Barbara Kingsolver

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work. — Emile Zola

It’s not difficult to make things. What is difficult is to reach the state in which we can make them. — Brancusi

A man who wants to do something will find a way; A man who doesn’t will find an excuse.” — Stephen Dolley, Jr.

Only when it is well with you is it well with me. — Rob Gieselmann

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. — Kurt Vonnegut

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. — Anna Quindlen

Our lives are big old art projects, and art can be made up of darkness and light, color and movement and negative space and everything else besides. You can use it all. — Melissa Camara Wilkins

All of life comes to us in narrative form; it’s a story we tell. . .We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories.  — Ben & Rosamund Zander

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. — Ben Zander’s father

I am here today to cross the swamp, not to fight all the alligators. — anonymous

It was a high point . . . and it took place in a small town between the major engagements, where nothing of importance was likely to happen. — Ben Zander

Do not disdain the small.  The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. — Ann Voskamp

Fear keeps life small. — Ann Voskamp

Even in literature in art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. — C. S. Lewis

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. — Thoreau

Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. — Bryan Stevenson

The prairie, the people and the lifestyle must be appreciated for what it offers, not disliked for its perceived shortcomings. — D. A. Hickman

We limp; we sag; we sometimes drag about like poorly performing puppets. — D. A. Hickman

Do you ever feel like you inadvertently signed up for the wrong race, one you didn’t intend to participate in? — D. A. Hickman

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. —Henry Nouwen

. . .and the sea says in its lovely voice:  Excuse me, I have work to do. — Mary Oliver

Remove the noise that gets in the way. — Brian Gardner

We live in a time of great noise — Rev. Canon Pat Grace

Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. — William Morris

If you want to make a masterpiece, you have to be willing to create a little garbage along the way. — James Clear

To find peace you have to let the armor go. — Jim Carrey

Reading is the journey of those who cannot take the train. — F. Croisset

Either you succeed or you learn something. — Marc & Angel

If you’re not willing to do anything about it, best not to waste the energy wishing about it. — Seth Godin

I tried to capture the essence of the truth, if not always the precision of fact, and trust that the liberties I have taken will be forgiven. — Lalita Tademy

If I don’t practice the piano for one day I know it.  If I don’t practice it for two days my family knows it.  If I don’t practice it for three days, my public knows it. — Artur Rubinstein

Unless we are creators, we are not fully alive. — Madeleine L’Engle

The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness. — Madeleine L’Engle

I turned to writing as a way of groping toward wholeness. — Madeleine L’Engle

You should utter words as though heaven were opened within them and as though you did not put the word into your mouth, but as though you had entered the word. — Martin Buber

What you will do matters.  All you need is to do it. — fortune cookie message

When you know better, you do better. — Oprah Winfrey

We like to think that an interesting life will simply fall into place on the page.  It won’t…Memoir writers must manufacture a text, imposing narrative order on a jumble of half-remembered events. — William Zinsser

I am happiest when I am caught up and lost in acts of creativity. — Matthew Fox

Creativity and imagination are not frosting on a cake: They are integral to our sustainability.  They are survival mechanisms. They are the essence of who we are.  They constitute our deepest empowerment. — Matthew Fox

The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.  She’s better. — JCP

The greatest difficulty is that men do not think enough of themselves, do not consider what it is that they are sacrificing when they follow in a herd, or when they cater for their establishment. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.  — Julian of Norwich

You don’t get the good stuff easy. — Teller, director of Tim’s Vermeer

When the horse is dead, stop beating it. — anonymous

If you ask me what I have come to do in this world, I will reply:  “I am here to live aloud. — Emile Zola

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.  I’d like to see you living in better conditions. — Hafez