To Russia With Love

Amy and I are going to be in St. Petersburg-Russia soon. We were  in Moscow a few years ago and loved it!  Even though the people were hard to engage, there was something about the city that drew us. St. Petersburg is different from Moscow as it is the most European of Russian cities. The Hermitage Museum (which I am stoked to see) holds Rembrandt’s painting “The Prodigal Son.”  I have a print of that work on my office wall and I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to gaze at it for a while! From the descriptions I have heard and the images I have seen, St Pete looks and sounds beautiful. It would seem we also get a double blessing as we will be experiencing the White Nights” while we are there. The White Nights are a perpetual dusk…it never gets dark…

As we are getting prepped and set to take off, I thought it would be good to absorb to the words of some famous Russian writers, Dostoyevsky & Tolstoy…


“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“You can be sincere and still be stupid.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“Beauty will save the world”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“rest, nature, books, music…such is my idea of happiness…”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Pierre was right when he said that one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and I now believe in it. Let the dead bury the dead, but while I’m alive, I must live and be happy.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

“To get rid of an enemy one must love him. ”
― Leo Tolstoy

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
― Leo Tolstoy, A Confession

“Music is the shorthand of emotion”
― Leo Tolstoy

LIFE: SNQuotes 6/23/12

Ah life. How should you live it? Why did you receive it? Where is it all going? There are as many questions about life as there are life-forms in the universe! This week I pulled from some fun and diverse sources to find out what others have had to say about life and living.


Every man dies. Not every man really lives.  ~William Wallace

Don’t go through life, grow through life.  ~Eric Butterworth

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
~William James

An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.  ~Charles Darwin

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.  ~James Allen

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.  ~Carl Sandburg

For the happiest life, days should be rigorously planned, nights left open to chance.  ~Mignon McLaughlin

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.  ~Richard Bach

I love those who yearn for the impossible.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is not length of life, but depth of life.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.  ~Charlotte Bronte

Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.  ~Albert Schweitzer

Life is a long lesson in humility.  ~James M. Barrie

Life is half spent before we know what it is.  ~George Herbert

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

Life must be lived as play.   ~Plato

Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul.  ~Rebecca West

Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.  ~Mel Brooks

My life is my message.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

Our entire life – consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.
~Jean Anouilh

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.
~Soren Kierkegaard

Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.   ~Woody Allen

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.  ~William James

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.  ~Carl Jung

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.  ~Buddha

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.
~Erma Bombeck

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.  ~Albert Camus

Sunday Night Quotes 3/4/12

Send me your favorite quotes during the week and it just might make it onto the Sunday night collection for the week!  MC

“If somebody writes a great poem, people don’t run around applauding the pencil, saying ‘Oh, what a great pencil’…I’m a pencil in God’s hands.”   ~Keith Green

From the movie “Act of Valor”  The stirring words of the great Native American leader Tecumseh are movingly read in this week’s release featuring active duty Navy Seals.

So live your life so the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their views, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a stranger if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools and robs them of their visions. When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

~Rabindranath Tagore

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

-~Ralph Waldo Emerson