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10 Quotes on Writing to Pay Attention

A selection of quotes on the benefits of paying attention through writing, poem making, and art.

Learning to Be Present

1. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning ~ Kerouac

2. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this. ~ Thoreau

3. Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. ~ Picasso

Renewing Perception

4. It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it ~ Anais Nin

5. Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight ~ Rumi

6. The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself ~ Henry Miller

Creating Art through Attention (or Attention Through Art)

7. Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. Touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace ~ Buechner

8. Examine all that you have been told and your very flesh shall become a great poem ~ Walt Whitman

9. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work ~ Mary Oliver

Stuffing Your Eyes With Wonder

10. Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. ~ Ray Bradbury.

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