I Need a Quote! Contest and Giveaway

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” 

I love a good quote, and this one from E.B. White is one of my favorites. It’s the first of twelve epigraphs in my book, Sabbath in the Suburbs.

The trouble is, there are thirteen chapters.

A big publishing house that will remain nameless didn’t bother to answer my request for permission to use a verse of this wonderful poem. So, I need a new quote and I need it by tomorrow.

No sense in drawing these things out, eh?

Obviously the quote should have something to do with Sabbath, or time, or living gently in the midst of our days. It can also come from the other direction and highlight the frantic busyness that grips many of us. It must not require me to seek permission, which means it can be from a book but it can’t be more than one line of poetry, hymn, song, or prayer, unless it is in the public domain (generally pre-1923).

Comment here or on my Facebook author page or e-mail me at maryannmcdana (at) gmail (dot) com with your suggestion by 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday June 26. If your quote is chosen I’ll send you a copy of the book when it comes out, plus an added surprise bonus.

Image: bonus photo of my Meglet, who improves the world simply by enjoying it.

24 thoughts on “I Need a Quote! Contest and Giveaway

  1. Sharon

    You probably have this one, but what about Julian of Norwich: “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

  2. Shawn Coons (@shawncoons)

    “A nap is approved if I’ve worked hard enough to deserve it, or if I’m feeling under the weather. A day off is condoned if it is my due. A loll through the garden is acceptable only if I pull some weeds on the way through. A wasted afternoon is allowed so long as it doesn’t happen too often, and I seem duly contrite.”

    Terry Hershey, Sacred Necessities: Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose, and Grace, 70

  3. Bromleigh McCleneghan

    Who first invented work — and tied the
    and holy-day rejoicing spirit down
    to the ever-haunting importunity
    of business?
    (Charles Lamb, in a letter to Bernard Barton, 11 September 1822)


    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.

    or, perhaps most awesome in its terribleness:
    It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure why take the chance?
    Ronald Reagan in a 1987 interview

  4. candivernon

    Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just skipping down the cobble stones, looking for fun, and feeling groovy. Paul Simon 59th Street Bridge Song

  5. Silent

    What came to mind is the last line of a Charlotte Zolotow poem. “It is only I who have changed.” (the poem is “Change” found in “River Winding”) found here on-line: http://www.charlottezolotow.com/river_winding.htm

    I think about how so much is the same on Sabbath or after keeping Sabbath–except us.

    Even if it doesn’t work for you, the question brought to mind this poem for me even though I haven’t thought of it for years and I’m so glad to have tracked it down again!

  6. joann28

    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
    ― Rumi

  7. joann28

    “Restlessness means you are on the march creatively. The problem is, you may not know where…When we listen to our fears with tenderness and care, when we accept them as messengers rather than as terrorists, we can begin to understand and respond to the unmet need that sends them forward. The next time you are restless, remind yourself it is the universe asking ‘Shall we dance?'” (Julia Cameron)

  8. joann28

    It occurs to me that restlessness and fear are dance partners. We feel restless and we know something is suggesting a change. And we are afraid. We dance around the inner malcontent, alternately trying to hear and wanting not to hear what it is that is calling us. Whether we admit it or not, it is fear that insists that we stick to our routines, insists on linearity. I wonder if we often dress that fear up in fancy dress and call it “responsibility.” –Gretchen Staebler (my sister, in her blog “My View from the Garden” http://myviewfromthegarden.blogspot.com/ )

  9. Doug Browne

    “Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions. ” — John Randolph, American politician of the 19th century.

  10. Mary Ann

    Emily Dickinson. The Evening.
    THE cricket sang,
    And set the sun,
    And workmen finished, one by one,
    Their seam the day upon.

    The low grass loaded with the dew,
    The twilight stood as strangers do
    With hat in hand, polite and new,
    To stay as if, or go.

    A vastness, as a neighbor, came, —
    A wisdom without face or name,
    A peace, as hemispheres at home, —
    And so the night became.

  11. Chris in NY

    Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
    “Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.”
    or the longer version:
    “Time deals gently only with those who take it gently. And when in some years more you will have a silvery fringe under your black fillet, you will be reclothed with a new beauty, less vivid but more touching
    than the first….”

  12. Pingback: It’s Encourage an Artist Day! « The Blue Room

  13. Mike Woods

    How about a quote from an artist on Encourage an Artist Day? The quote: “Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.” The artist is Brian Andreas who creates StoryPeople greeting cards and prints (www.storypeople.com). The quote is a gentle nudge toward the truth that there may not be enough time in the day but there is enough grace.


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