SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

The Not-So-Little Black Book

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Blog, Food for Thought, Quotes | 1 comment

Black Note bookThe notorious little black book has often surfaced in movies, books, and in the breast pocket of some male wannabe casanovas. The book supposedly holds names, phone numbers, and quite likely, some other pertinent information.

I must confess that I, too, have a black book! It’s just not so little. In fact, it is 7.5 x 4 x 1.25 inches thick, and I, most assuredly, don’t have names with phone numbers in it, or other pertinent information. In fact, I even forgot I had it until the other day when I did some overdue housecleaning of my desk. And there it was: black and grey with a white poodle gracing the cover over one word: Notes.

Before I share some of the contents of my not-so-little black book, allow me a short prelude.

Have you ever watched a movie, read a book, or attended a party and heard someone say something that resonated with you so much so that you tried to remember what it was, only to lose it in your grey matter that is already full to over-flowing? Am I alone in this? This coming weekend I am conducting a workshop on memoir writing for Write! Canada in Ottawa (, and as I’ve prepared for the day, I’ve chosen to share a gem that I discovered some years ago from the life of Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunch Back of Notre Dame. He had been known to stop conversations at parties in mid-sentence, take a notebook from his jacket pocket (it might even have been a little black book!) and jot down what someone had just said, either directly to him or via some discrete eavesdropping. A year later, the conversation would appear in his latest novel. Well, I’m not about to compare myself to Mr. Hugo, but having read about his habit some time ago, I had decided to do something similar (maybe even include some discrete eavesdropping!) Thus, my not-so-little black book.

My book contains quotes, as did Mr. Hugo’s, that I’ve heard, read—and dare I say invented?—and have recorded as a potential source for future blogs, speaking engagements, or as a source for some personal writing. When you have a moment,  ponder over some of my favourites I’ve shared below. And please note that whenever possible, I have given credit where credit is due. Forgive me, if, like Mr. Hugo, the words were retained in some fashion, but no record of the source was made.

  • A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them – Victor Hugo.
  • Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly – Henri J. M. Nouwen.
  • Winning is in the forgiving. Then one can go on living.
  • It’s not the intention, not the destination, not seeking perfection… it’s the journey – Wabi Sabi, Japanese interpretation of the beauty in roughness or irregularity.
  • A mother is only as happy as her saddest child – Loving Leah, Hallmark movie.
  • For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense – C. S. Lewis.
  • Man wrapped in himself makes a small package.
  • All water has a perfect memory, trying to get back to where it was.
  • With the past I have nothing to do, nor with the future. I live now – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Sometimes you don’t get what you want. But you often get what you need.
  • Life is like an empty box. It’s not so important what you get out of it as much as what you put in to it.
  • Life is too short to use bad soap! – TVAL Skincare.
  • There is nothing lost that may be found, if sought – Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) in The Faerie Queene .
  • All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time – Mitch Albom
  • Don’t let the book of your life end badly, many of us have bad starts while we are finding our way– Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets – Harvey MacKay. 
  • Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God Himself – Madeleine L’Engle.
  • If you’re feeling like you’ve blown it, if you feel like you are too old, too far gone or too far off track, know that nothing you’ve done, no mistake that you’ve made—or ever will make—is a surprise to God. He’s already got it figured out. He’s arranged a comeback for every setback!– Joel Osteen.

Get yourself a coffee—or, if you’re like me, an herbal tea—and mull over one of the above. Let me know what you think! Do you have a favourite? Do you have your own personal favourite you’d like to share?

Have a blessed day!

This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118.24



One Comment

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  1. Heather Joyes.

    No spiral or little book here, but I too have for a number of years jotted down verses, lines, phrases that strike a chord. This year, I gathered a number of them together and the rest are scattered in various books I have read that sit on shelves awaiting the next time I have the pleasure of reading and thinking about them again. Many, like you I am sure have been committed to memory.

    Thank you for listing some of your favourites.

    “Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” Victor Hugo

    “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing.” Mother Theresa

    “And the silence grew until it had the weight of age, so hard to life aside.” Steinbeck For this I want to add ,,,”And yet…” 🙂

    “The thrushes sing as the sun is going
    And the finches whistle in ones and pairs,
    And as it gets dark loud nightingales
    In bushes
    Pipe as they can when April wears,
    As if all time were theirs.” Elizabeth Bishop

    “O God, too weak and worn for words, I shrink
    From trials that deeply wound, and yet to think
    Your Holy Spirit helps me as I pray
    And gives a voice to what I cannot say.” Gustafson

    Those are a few that I thought you might like.

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