The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Light

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Over-Soul"

The flowers that sleep by night, opened their gentle eyes and turned them to the day. The light, creation's mind, was everywhere, and all things owned its power. ~Charles Dickens

Light, when suddenly let in, dazzles and hurts and almost blinds us: but this soon passes away, and it seems to become the only element we can exist in. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Let nothing come between you and the light. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1848

Moonlight is sculpture: sunlight is painting. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

He had enjoyed the refreshing luxury of a bath in his dressing-room, and was now sitting, after a late breakfast, in the open gallery, flanking the dining-room and the lower morning-rooms, and looking on the garden. The long outer blinds had been drawn down between the columns to exclude the powerful sunbeams; but the effect of the light, although subdued, was glowing; and, to Lilian's eyes, her husband was glorified by an atmosphere of poetic brightness. ~J. Palgrave Simpson, For Ever and Never, 1884

Joy requires one to be awake,
Adjusting the heart's ambience to bright.
Some prefer the dark, as is their right,
On grounds of agony, and to forsake
Not only bliss, but all that's blessed by light.
~Nicholas Gordon,

Light — God's eldest Daughter — is a principal Beauty in a Building, yet it shines not alike from all Parts of the Heavens. An East Window gives the infant Beams of the Sun before they are of Strength to do any harm. A South Window, in Summer, is a Chimney with a Fire in it, and needs to be screened by a Curtain. In a West Window, in Summer-time, towards Night the Sun grows low, and over familiar, with more Light than Delight. A North Window is best for Cellars where the Beer will be sour if the Sun smiles on it. ~Thomas Fuller, "Of Building," 1640  [a little altered —tg]

Man hidden away in his vanity like a mole in his hill no longer understands the language of light which fills the sky with its inconceivable immensity. ~Jean Arp (1887–1966), "Son of light," translated by Ralph Manheim, 1948

This life is a shadowy thing, lad. We live in a crowded space of lights and shadows... ~James Michael Pratt, The Lighthouse Keeper, 2000

Sometimes just looking up and seeing the light is enough. ~Terri Guillemets

Keep your flame lit, and you will never feel darkness. ~J. Parker

Perhaps some will say: where sunlight is wanting, there is a substitute for it in artificial light. Extraordinary inventions have indeed been made in this respect. In my boyhood I have seen in some households how late in the evening people lighted chips of wood at their stove and actually spun by such a wretched light. I saw also how they stuck on a holder well dried wood-shavings, which, on being lit at the top, burnt slowly on until they were entirely consumed. These people were content with the miserable light and spun away till 9 o'clock in the evening. Later on linseed-oil and tallow-candles came into general use as material for lighting family dwellings and work-shops. In course of time various burning and lighting materials were discovered and invented... the new materials giving a much brighter light. But whether the change has not injured the human frame and in particular the organs of sight... that is another question which, I fear, must be answered in the affirmative. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889, translated from the 19th German edition

What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight. ~Joseph Joubert (1754–1824), translated from French

Your path is illuminated by the light
Yet darkness lets the stars shine bright.
~J.L.W. Brooks

We must therefore do all we can to live in a clear atmosphere and sunlight, eye and body will then be in a far better condition. But if people, especially town's people, will occupy rooms and workshops into which neither the rays of the sun nor even broad daylight can penetrate, how can they be expected to remain healthy and strong?... Man, it is true, can get accustomed to many things, especially to the requirements of fashion.... And yet... Will they not weaken their eyesight and even their bodies by working most of their time in such a self-procured twilight?... He who lives and moves in full daylight and brilliant sunshine will possess the soundest eye and the soundest body as far as light can influence them. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889, translated from the 19th German edition

This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand.
~Ted Kooser, "A Happy Birthday," Delights and Shadows, 2004

I always know I'm talking to a gardener or a photographer if at any given time, they know where the light is. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, @wildthyme, tweet, 2013,

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. ~James A. Michener, Space, 1982

Look at the light — the way it slants from the trees. You only see light as sharp as that in winter. ~Hayes Davenport and Alena Smith, "There's a certain Slant of light," Dickinson, 2019  [S1, E8, Ben Newton to Emily —tg]

There are two ways of spreading light; to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.
~Edith Wharton, "Vesalius in Zante (1564)," Artemis to Actæon and Other Verse, 1909

Some things in our lives are as constant as the sun and others as fleeting as a shooting star. But we are thankful for all light that brightens our paths. ~Terri Guillemets

Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.
~Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)

Glitter needs light to shine. We all do. ~Terri Guillemets

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. ~Douglas Adams

Now is the flickering flame of a single candle
Forever—the endless light of a galaxy of stars.
~Terri Guillemets

For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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