I am working on a new book of 100 great sayings, and have reached a hundred. A few examples:
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one" (Mother Teresa)
"I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains" (Anne Frank)
"He who truly knows has no occasion to shout" (Leonardo Da Vinci)
"He who praises everybody praises nobody" (Samual Johnson)
"He who mistrusts most should be trusted least" (Theognis)
"He who helps early helps twice" (Tadeusz Mazowiecki)
I want this to be a book that will encourage others to write their own sayings. This is tricky because it is virtually impossible to come up with a wholly new saying. "There is nothing new under the sun." Still, I think that not only studying great sayings and learning to write them can be a tremendous growth experience.
I favor very short ones, perhaps related to my early love of haiku and experience writing them, as well as short poetry. Here's another one of those pesky sayings, "More is less."
Of course, immersion in sayings is no panacea. It is just one tool of self-exploration and mode of writing.
A great saying goes right to the heart of the matter. A great saying takes you down inside yourself, rather than beating around the bush.
Maybe I also favor short pieces of writing because my eyes are fading and it's easier for me to take my reading in small chunks.
I have come up with some; I would say just a handful. I am not claiming that they are great, but I am happy with them. I hope that working on this writing project will induce me to write more.
There are many books of sayings out there on the market. It's hard to come up with a new concept for a book of sayings. As I said, probably my approach will be to teach myself and others how to write original sayings, and learn to benefit from them. Or sayings can be conceived as simply one tool of serious journaling.
OS folks who read this, it would be great if you would share a few of your own favorite sayings...
We are heading to D.C. today to visit my sister and do some tourist stuff. It will be good to get away. We will be staying in Tacoma Park.
Still incredulous about Romney's trashing of 47% of the American people. makes me just want to work harder on the Obama campaign. Romney is more out-of-touch and mean-spirited than I realized. The vast majority of Americans are hard working or, if they are unemployed, fervently desire to be working again. Romney, apparently, doesn't have a clue.