A Daisy Chain of Words and Pictures

If the pulse lies, then the heart lies.

— Cebuano folk healer, quoted by Richard W. Lieban, Cebuano Sorcery: Malign Magic in the Philippines

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Vienna, Austria. Photo: Julie Mount


I examine my own being, and find there a world, but a world rather of imagination and dim desires, than of distinctness and living power. Then everything swims before my senses, and I smile and dream while pursuing my way through the world.

— Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther

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West Marin, California. Photo: Nina Zumel


We cannot stop the revolution of the heavens as they rush with velocity upon their course, neither can we control our imagination. When this wanders we at once imagine that all the powers of the soul follow it; we think everything is lost…. Meanwhile the soul is perhaps entirely united to Him…. As a rule all our anxieties and troubles come from misunderstanding our own nature.

— St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

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San Francisco, California. Photo: Nina Zumel


O my friend! why is it that the torrent of genius so seldom bursts forth, so seldom rolls in full-flowing stream, overwhelming our astounded soul? Because, on either side of this stream, cold and respectable persons have taken up their abodes, and forsooth, their summer-houses and tulip-beds would suffer from the torrent; wherefore they dig trenches, and raise embankments betimes, in order to avert the impending danger.

— Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther

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Mount Isarog, Philippines. Photo: John Mount


Reason convinces the soul that as outside its interior castle are found neither peace nor security, it should cease to seek another home abroad, its own being full of riches that it can enjoy at will. Besides, it is not every one who, like itself, possesses all he needs within his own dwelling, and above all, such a Host…

— St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

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Glass House. Jenner, California. Photo: Nina Zumel


“It comes all at once,” Bugs Anderson had rhapsodized. “You see something for the first time, and right away you know you have found YOUR GREAT INTEREST. It’s like a key turning in a lock. Or falling in love for the first time….”

— Stephen King, Apt Pupil

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Berkeley, California. Photo: Nina Zumel


At last I see it, I feel it; I penetrate to the predestinated purpose of my life. I am content. Others may have loftier parts to enact; but my mission in this world, Bartleby, is to furnish you with office-room for such period as you see fit to remain.

— Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street

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Library, Melk Abbey. Melk, Germany. Photo: Nina Zumel


For those who do not know him, Israel is the ghost whose job it is to haunt my house. He haunts my house beautifully and very truly and well. He is wonderfully good at the haunting and we have been through much together.

— Jack Cady, “Israel and Ernest”

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Tribeca, New York City. Photo: Nina Zumel

3 thoughts on “A Daisy Chain of Words and Pictures

    • Thank you! I, too, love the photo in the West Marin field, but I’m also frustrated with how much of the beauty of that moment failed to be captured. You photograph — I’m sure you have had similar emotions with some of the shots you’ve attempted.

      Glass House (the room with the skylight) is amazing. It sits on a rock about 100 feet off the coast, accessible only by a natural stone bridge. And it is ALL glass. We stayed a week there this past October, waking to the sound of the ocean just beneath our bedroom… wonderful getaway.

      • Oh, Glass House sounds perfect. Perhaps one day I’ll go there..

        My photos are just about chance, really. I use a little point and click, take numerous ones of the same shot, and hope it will come out nicely, or can be tinkered with successfully. I’m an amateur, in other words. But I think, with words attached (or powerful quotes) that can enhance what we’ve managed to get, to build out the moment, as it were, and change it in the ways we like.

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