by Tracy Boyd © 2016 onward



The place whereupon thou standest is holy

ground.” (Exodus 3:5.)

From possibility to reality is a general state

of mind.” (No idea who said this.)

The secret of knowing where you are, is

knowing what time it is.” (PBS/NOVA special,

"Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude," originally broadcast

on October 6, 1998. Based on the bestselling book Longitude

by Dava Sobel. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/longitude/>.)

For what we are about to receive, may the

Lord be truly thankful.(Classicist Jane Ellen

Harrison quoting her father’s version of Grace before lunch

and dinner - told in her Reminiscences of a Student’s Life

(London: Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press,

1925), p. 40.)

No one leaves here alive.”

(In conversation with Marika Herskovic, author and preserver

of Abstract Expressionist art.)

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.”

(Chinese fortune cookie fortune.)

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

(Yogi Berra.)

When we dream, the things we wish for happen by magic. . . .”

(Spoken by Kwai Chang Caine in “Superstition” in Kung Fu: Chapter 3,1973.)

“. . .  the person who has found out the keynote of his own voice, has the key to his whole life.”

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Mysticism of Sound and Music. (Boston: Shambhala, 1996), p. 84.)

“Their holy places are woods and groves, and they apply the names of deities to that hidden presence which is seen only by the eye of reverence.” 

(Tacitus, The Germania 9, in The Agricola and the Germania. Trans. with an Intro. by  H. H. Mattingly. Rev. trans. by S. A. Handford (Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., 1977), p. 109.)

We of the here and now are not for a moment hedged in the time-world, nor confined within it; we are incessantly flowing over and over to those who preceded us, to our origins and to those who seemingly come after us. In that greatest “open” world all are, one cannot say “simultaneous”, for the very falling away of time determines that they all are.”

(Rainer Maria Rilke, November 13, 1925 letter to Witold von Hulewicz, in Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke 1910-1926. Trans. Jane Bannard Greene and M. D. Herter Norton. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1947-1969), Letter 218, p. 373.)

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...

In life after life, in age after age, forever.”

(Rabindranath Tagore, Unending Love”, in Manasi (The Heart’s Desire: A Collection of Poems), 1890 <http://www.calcuttaweb.com/tagore/chronology.shtml> on line at <http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/33293-Rabindranath-Tagore-Unending-Love>.)

All that is not given is lost.”

(Spoken by Patrick Swayze as Dr. Max Lowe at the end of the film City of Joy without credit to C. G. Jung, who was there anonymously quoted.)

Colonel Quaddafi was carrying what Mr. Shaaban (the soldier who found him) described as a sack of magic charms. . . .”

(Kareem Fahim, “After Making Capture in Pipe, Displaying the Trophies of War”, in The New York Times, Africa Section, Oct. 20, 2011.)

According to the new physics, space is not an empty container in which there are objects and events, but part of a web that enmeshes everything - so that if you move a leaf you disturb the universe.”

(Richard W. Noone, 5/5/2000: Ice: The Ultimate Disaster. (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1982), p. 241, summarizing the nature of thinking expressed by Fritof Capra in The Tao of Physics.)

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

(Jalal al-Din Rumi, The Essential Rumi. Trans. Coleman Barks. (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995), p. 36.)

In the beginning was the Tao.

(John Blofeld, The Secret and Sublime: Taoist Mysteries and Magic. (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1973), p. 23, note 1, who notes that in the earliest Chinese translations of St. John’s Gospel, the Word becomes the Way.)

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

(Jorge Luis Borge, “Poema de los dones” (‘Poem of the Gifts’) from El Hacedor (‘The Maker’),1960. <https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jorge_Luis_Borges>.)

“. . . the classical labyrinth of Knossos . . . has a single path and is known as unicursal. . . . If the unicursal labyrinth were to be “rolled out,” we’d end up holding a single thread. That Ariadne’s thread, the legend tells us, was the means (extraneous to the labyrinth) used to get out of the labyrinth, while in fact it is none other than the labyrinth itself.”

(Umberto Eco, “Forward” to Labyrinths: The Art of the Maze. Franco Maria Ricci, Editor. (New York: Rizzoli, 2013), p. 9 corrected.)

When the heavenly opera comes on and you are about to sing your aria, . . . be kind to the angels. They have never heard anything so beautiful before.”

(Leontyne Price, “addressed Robert Merrill directly”, at his memorial tribute held at the Juilliard School on 12/15/04 - the 59th anniversary of his Met debut. Quoted by Daniel J. Wakin, “A Tribute to a Baritone Who Loved Baseball”, The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2004.)

If we understand the mythic dimension, the search for wisdom is everywhere to be seen.”

(Joseph Campbell)

Bran hears one day, in the neighborhood of his stronghold, lovely music behind him. He turns around quickly, and it is still behind him: the music of the Sidhe, the people of the fairy hills, who are here among us, unseen. For just as the Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth and men do not see it, so is the fairy world of the Sidhe.

(Joseph Campbell, Romance of the Grail: The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth. Evans Lansing Smith, Editor. (Novato, California: New World Library/Joseph Campbell Foundation, 2015), p. 162.)

Ladies and Gentlemen. Children of all ages. This is a magic ring, a circle as mysterious as Stonehenge.”

(P. T. Barnum, The Ringmaster’s opening introduction of the first circus ring.)

To ancient evenings and distant music.”

(A toast made by Yeats aficionado Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) in the film The Bridges of Madison County, 1995.)

“An enchantment, as its name implies, is created by chanting.”

    (John Michell and Christine Rhone, Twelve-Tribe Nations and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape. (Grand Rapids:            

    Phanes Press, 1991), p. 91.)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

But if I am only for myself, what am I?

If not now, when?”

(Rabbi Hillel, in the ethical classic Pirkei Avot (The Book of Principles/The Ethics of the Father), Avot 1:14 describing Tikkun Olam (‘Repairing the World’.)

Honk If You Don’t Exist

My Other Vehicle is the Mahayana

Sooner or Later: Dharma

(Snow Lion Bumper Stickers.)

12% of all Americans think Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc.

(ABC Channel 7 News on 8/11/98 re: “New Bibles”.)

Where would Little Red Riding Hood be today if she hadn’t strayed off the path?”

(Tracy Boyd in conversation with Carole Losee.)

Would you ever have heard of her?”

(Carole Losee in response to the question.)

Is the Pope Catholic?”

(Lyn Kupferman in answer to a question posed by Tracy Boyd.)

Do bears shit in the woods?”

(Tracy Boyd in response to the answer.)

Does the Pope shit in the woods?”

(Lyn Kupferman in response to the question.)

Are bears Catholic?”

(Tracy Boyd and Lyn Kupferman responding in unison to the question.)

"The historical source of the word ‘inauguration’ stems from the Latin augur, which refers to

the rituals of ancient Roman priests seeking to interpret if it was the will of the gods for a public official to be deemed worthy to assume office."

(Mac Computer Dictionary quoting the Oxford Dictionary, 2016.)

The water ouzel, in his rocky home amid foaming waters, . . . of all the singers I like him the best. . . . How romantic and beautiful is the life of this brave little singer on the wild mountain streams, building his round bossy nest of moss by the side of a rapid or fall, where it is sprinkled and kept fresh and green by the spray! No wonder he sings well, since all the air about him is music; every breath he draws is part of a song, and he gets his first music lessons before he is born; for the eggs vibrate in time with the tones of the waterfalls.”

(The Writings of John Muir, Volume 6, Chapter VII. “Among the Birds of the Yosemite”. No pagination cited. <http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol6_chapter7.htm). Note: The water ouzel is a dipper, “a short-tailed songbird related to the wrens, frequenting fast-flowing streams and able to swim, dive, and walk under water to feed.” (Mac Computer Dictionary.)

“Frederick of Wales had a dog given him by Alexander Pope, and on the collar were these words––

    ‘I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;

     Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?’”

(E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. (1810-1897), The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Giving the Derivation, Source, or origin of Common Phrases, Allusions and Words That Have a Tale to Tell. (New York: Avenel Books, 1978 Classic Edition reprint, p. 364.)

   By a strange coincidence of history, Heraclitus, the Greek spinner of endless circles and equivalences, master of continuous beginnings and endings, was a contemporary of Buddha, LaoTze, and Confucius. Carole Losee was telling us this in the Spring of 1963 when she was teaching a seminar in Eastern Religions at The Dalton School in New York and reading us LaoTze’s Tao Te Ching under the flowering cherry trees in Central Park. She humorously opined that “It must have been something in the air.

   (Tracy Boyd, “A ‘Whisper of Running Streams’(1) Memories of pastpresentfuture”, under the heading “Keeping Still” at <http://www.sacredthreads.net/www.sacredthreads.net/pastpresentfuture.html>, © 2011, text and footnote 102. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha’s dates are thought to be c. 563-483 B.C.E; LaoTze was said to be a contemporary of Confucius, c. 551-479 B.C.E.; and Herakleitos lived c. 535-475 B.C.E.)

  “There comes a time when you fight back and you don’t care if you’ll get hurt or what happens

   to your wig.

    (Nina Golgowski, “Australia Man Hails Drag Queens As ‘Angels’ After They Fight Off His Homophobic Attackers”,

    quoting Luke Karakia, whose drag queen persona is Ivy Leaguee, one of the heroines who saved the day.


  Dolly, our charming Jack Russell mix, drew this fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie:

  “Do not underestimate yourself. Human beings have unlimited potential.”

  The fierce winds of an early March nor’easter felled our venerable weeping pines, taking all

  of them, without mercy. Deep in sorrow for the loss of their majestic presence in our landscape,

  I had visions of the falling petals of the flowering Japanese cherry trees in The Last Samurai. And

  so I began a search for Yoshino Cherry trees. One site revealed an aspect of their magic that I had

  never heard: “There is a Japanese legend that each spring a fairy maiden hovers low in the warm

  sky, wakening the sleeping Cherry Trees to life with her delicate breath.” Who could resist that?


   This instant is the only time there is.”

(Chinese fortune cookie fortune.)

“What time is it? You mean now?”

   (Yogi Berra.)

Of William Blake, one biographer said what we already knew, that “his mind could convert the most ordinary occurrence into something mystical and supernatural. . . .” As but one example, he cites this well-known story of him: “’Did you ever see a fairy's funeral, madam?' he once said to a lady, who happened to sit by him in company. 'Never, sir!' was the answer. 'I have,' said Blake, 'but not before last night. I was walking alone in my garden, there was great stillness among the branches and flowers and more than common sweetness in the air; I heard a low and pleasant sound, and I knew not whence it came. At last I saw the broad leaf of a flower move, and underneath I saw a procession of creatures of the size and colour of green and gray grasshoppers, bearing a body laid out on a rose leaf, which they buried with songs, and then disappeared. It was a fairy funeral’.”

    (Allan Cunningham, “Life of Blake”, in Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1830, Volume II, pp. 142-179. This quotation from Wikisource of the full original text, is unpaginated.)

    Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee, representing numerous indigenous tribes at the heated council meetings convened at Fort Knox in 1810, stood before his bitter enemy William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, and asked, “How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth you kill’d him and nail’d him on a cross.”

    (Quoted in Jay Feldman When the Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes. (New York: Free Press, 2005, p. 63.)

    I seek not to know all the answers, but to understand the questions.” (Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu.)


More Chinese fortune cookie fortunes drawn by Dolly, these during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020:

    “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

    “Even in the greatest confusion there is an open channel into the soul.”

    “Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.”

    “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go where there is no path...and leave a trail.”

    “To remember is to understand.”

Emma Stebbins, The Angel of the Waters, Bethesda Fountain, NYC