“Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.” —Gertrude Stein “To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.” — William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life (1899)
“The constant remaking of order out of chaos is what life is all about, even in the simplest domestic chores such as clearing the table and washing the dishes after a meal…but when it comes to the inner world, the world of feeling and thinking, many people leave the dishes unwashed for weeks so no wonder they feel ill and exhausted.” — May Sarton, Recovering “I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the mind.” — Einstein
“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” — William Blake
“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.” — Yutang Lin
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” — Iris Murdoch “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.“ — Rainer Maria Rilke
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Gandhi
“I once thought it was not worth sitting down for a time as short as [ten minutes]; now I know differently and, if I have ten minutes, I use them, even if they bring only two lines, and it keeps the book alive.” —Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms
“Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize.” — Diane Arbus
“Do not hurry; do not rest.” — Goethe
“Never hurry, never worry.” — Charlotte’s Web
Now go eat some chocolate. (see Iris Murdoch instruction above)
8 thoughts on “reasons and benefits of aimless wandering”
I think the quote by Iris Murdoch is the truest for me, but I also really love the one by Gertrude Stein.
Yes, a good one to remember. And please note, it has a chocolate component that MUST be included. Regularly. (:
I love the textures of the cacti, the leathery turtle legs, the delicate surprise of flowers on a jade tree–who knew they bloomed?–the earth in the wheelbarrow, the fogged-up window. And the thoughts. Goethe’s is my favourite. Also the twist of your title. Reasons to be aimless.
Rilke’s is my favourite. And I’m glad you like the windows…
I thoroughly enjoyed this aimless wandering and pondering, thank you. I especially like the photo of the long leaves (banana plant?) against the domed ceiling.
Yes, banana! (I used to work at a place with a similar, though not nearly so grand, conservatory/greenhouse with a similar but not so big banana tree that was decades and decades old and which once a year would have all its leaves loped off and delivered to the Toronto Zoo for the herbivores to munch on.) The tree in the photo is at the entrance and something about it (and not its size) made for a lovely welcome. A happy tree, I think. Well, the vibes throughout are pretty wonderful… there’s a therapeutic value to these spaces, especially in large cities. I loved seeing *who* was wandering about in there. One guy in particular caught my attention. Quite old, possibly homeless or close to it, tall, with long dark hair that tumbled down his back when he took off his hat. He was besotted with the plants, touching them, totally into the experience. I wondered if it was one of the few places he felt like himself, equal to everyone else, rather than the ‘homeless guy’.
That’s so interesting, Carin. Just yesterday I was reading about a doctor who is trying to revolutionize elder care by introducing plants and animals into nursing homes. What you describe confirms what he believes. His name is Bill Thomas and his project is called The Eden Alternative: http://www.edenalt.org/
Thanks for the link, Leslie. Good to hear someone’s giving thought to inspiring ‘healthy lifestyles’ in nursing homes. I know they can run the gamut from horror show to quite wonderful, privately run or not… too often heartbreaking. Animals and plants. Seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Also for kids who grow up in urban settings who benefit so much from just getting somewhere that isn’t ‘landscaped’…