The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on April 26, 2012




I sometimes come across a quote or a line that appeals to me because of its quirkiness, particularly beautiful language, humor,  or the ounce of sense it contains.  Here are a few of those. Some I cannot decipher and others are simply well-said  phrases.


“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it too.” (Dorothy Parker)  Does that mean God rewards those people? Does it mean he despises money and thus gives it to thieves?


What about this Yiddish proverb?  “If God lived on earth people would break his windows.” Do people so despise the deity they’d destroy his property.  Are they sending  God a “go back where you came from – you don’t belong here” message?


“If you surrender to the wind you can ride it.”   (Toni Morrison)  What does it mean to surrender to the wind? What happens if I surrender to politicians?  To advertising tycoons?


“Everyone should keep a mental wastebasket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it – torn up in irrecoverable tatters.” (Samuel Butler)  Not being attached to the past and moving forward, despite growing older, is what I think Butler is getting at.


“I  think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.  People think pleasing God is all God cares about but any fool  living  in the world can see it is always trying to please us back. “ (Alice Walker)  That I do  understand but  I wonder what else pisses God off.


“Bloom where you are planted.”  (Mother Jones).  You can’t help but understand this one. It’s a  subtle and concise way of saying be satisfied with what you have – be not envious or jealous.


“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries”  (Stephen King) Now there’s a guy who knows who he is.


“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”  (George Santayana)  Truth in ten words.


“Drawing upon my fine command of English language, I said nothing.” (Robert Benchley) Here Benchley reiterates a Yiddish proverb. “A closed mouth catches no flies,” as well as the more common “The less said, the better.”


You, too, must have encountered a phrase that tickled your fancy or rang a bell with you.  What is it?


Julie Rose



One response to “I DON’T GET IT

  1. janet says:

    I like the Samuel Butler comment, too. My take is this. He’s not advising that people live in the present, but rather, he’s observing that, if we keep a mental wastebasket, as we grow older we WILL sort out the things that we once thought important ,but eventually realized were bogging us down, like materialism, holding grudges, having a perfect house, etc., etc.

    Interesting, isn’t it it how people love to tell us what God does and feels, and why. I wonder how many of them actually looked into the Bible to find out. For example, “If you want to know what God thinks of money….”, you can find out in the book of Proverbs. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Not having money, of course, but loving it to the extent that it rules one’s life.
    I like quotes, and wish I had kept a little notebook of them. Maybe you’ve done a better job.

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