And after a long time the boy came back again.
"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but I have nothing left to give you - My apples are gone."
"My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy.
"My branches are gone," said the tree.
"You cannot swing on them -"
"I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy.
"My trunk is gone," said the tree.
"You cannot climb -"
"I am too tired to climb," said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree.
"I wish that I could give you something... but I have nothing left. I am an old stump. I am sorry..."
"I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,
"Well, an old stump is a good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.
Silverstein, S. (1964) The Giving Tree
... with a rush of feeling he felt that this must be happiness. As soon as the thought came to him, he fought it back, blaming the whiskey. The very idea was as dangerous as presumptive speech: happiness could not be sought or worried into being, or even fully grasped; it should be allowed its own slow pace so that it passes unnoticed, if it ever comes at all.
McGahern, J. (2002) That They May Face the Rising Sun
“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
Murakami, H. (2000) Norwegian Wood
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.”
Schulz, C.M. (2001) Charlie Brown's Little Book of Wisdom
“Maybe I can put it another way... life, Charlie Brown, is like a deck chair."
"Like a what?"
"Have you ever been on a cruise ship? Passengers open up these canvas deck chairs so they can sit in the sun...
Some people place their chairs facing the rear of the ship so they can see where they've been...
Other people face their chairs forward... they want to see where they're going!
On the cruise ship of life, Charlie Brown, which way is your deck chair facing?"
"I've never been able to get one unfolded...”
Schulz, C.M. (2011) The Complete Peanuts, vol. 16: 1981-1982
"I just don't know how to write a love letter. what can you say to a girl that shows you really like her?"
"How about, enclosed please find a cookie?"
Schulz, C. M. (2005) The Complete Peanuts, vol. 3: 1955-1956
will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do.
Wallace, D. F. (2005) Infinite Jest
She is very modest about her work, and seemed surprised that any one should remember her except her individual clients. A few years ago when the Royal Institute of Irish architects had arranged an exhibition of her work in dublin, people had been amazed to see the dates on things that looked as if they were much more modern. She said she got a few letters from Irish architects and artists, which pleased her very much, she had them in a little file still called “Irlande” and she hoped that she had remembered to reply to them all.
Yes, she had been back to Ireland a few times, but very briefly, and once by chance when she found that a plane was going to stop over there. She decided to get off and go and look at her old home, and she thought she would have again all those lovely feelings of peace and innocence like she had as a child. But it had changed, and nothing was the same. It wasn’t just that everything – the lawns, the fields, the river – were smaller; she knew that would happen. It was all knocked down and built again, in a most unimaginative style. It made her sad. she never went back again.
And she lives in comfort but not in idleness with a marvellous woman called Dadame Dany who is a breton housekeeper/companion/dragon. Madame Dany sees that she eats enough and rests enough and doesn’t get weary talking to journalists for too long.
So Eileen Gray got up and said that she must finish those chairs, because, my dear, I am nearly 100 you know, and it would be foolish to think that I will have unlimited time to finish them the way I want them to be.
Interviewed by Binchy, M. (1976) Paris
No varnish can hide the grain of the wood;
and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.
Dickens, C. (1860) Great Expectations
When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.