I think that my work is easy to understand because I am not a thinker. I am not a […] How can I put it? I write the way I perceive, I guess. It’s not really simple, I don’t think, but it’s about ordinary things — feeling about things, about people. I’m not an intellectual. I’m not an abstract thinker. And I’m interested in ordinary life.

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There is time only to work slowly. There is no time not to love.

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Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

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Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.

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True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.

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Nobody sees a flower, really. It is so small it takes time. We haven’t time and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.

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The thought of people in this day and age sitting down to listen to a radio variety show on Saturday evening is rather implausible and was even more so in 1974 when we started “A Prairie Home Companion.” Thank goodness Minnesota Public Radio was too poor to afford good advice or the show never would’ve got on the air. We only did it because we knew it would be fun to do. It was a dumb idea. I wish I knew how to be that dumb again.” —

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That is what is strange—that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone.

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We live in a culture that has been hijacked by the management consultant ethos. We want everything boiled down to the Power Point slide. We want metrics and ‘show me numbers.’ That runs counter to the immensely complex nature of so many social, economic and political problems. You cannot devise an algorithm to fix them.

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Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success and they are in such haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.

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Things take the time they take. Don’t worry. How many roads did Saint Augustine follow before he became Saint Augustine?

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Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.

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My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate.

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Solitude is the furnace of transformation. –

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Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.

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Do something local. Do something real, however, small. And don't dis the political things, but understand their limitations.

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One should sit quietly and let the thing invent itself.

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The world is getting better, s-l-o-w-l-y.

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When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape.

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Small indeed is the life which each person lives, and tiny is the corner of the earth where he lives. Small too is even the longest after-glory, which is handed off, as in a relay race, to others who will soon be dead, not having known even themselves, let alone someone who died long ago.

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When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgment and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract. Who would live happily in the country must be wisely prepared to take great pleasure in little things.

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I grew up with the confidence that the greatest privilege was to be alone and have all the time you wanted.

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One must always practice slowly. If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.

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Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man.

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The broader you are, the less likely you are to be universal.

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Over-active people, it seems, can be fleeing from their own cry for friendship and love, from their own sensitivity and maybe from inner anguish and agitation.

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A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules.

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I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

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Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It's what everything else isn't.

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But people are touched by the simplest words - the ones that come with humility, truth and love. There is nothing in intellectually complex sermons to nourish hearts; they come from the head and are sterile.

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The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise [...] the sight of sky and of things growing seem human needs common to all.

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We may not be big but we’re small.

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The sun does not forget a village just because it is small.

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If you have enough small stuff, the big stuff will change.

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I’ve seen the revolution and we’re living it. It’s slow and broad and deep and has changed innumerable things immeasurably. To appreciate that, you need to be able to perceive subtle, complex, slow things.

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