Purple Passages

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The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a purple passage as one conspicuous for its brilliance in otherwise dull writing. For this feature, I’m concentrating on only the “brilliant” part of the definition.


He wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors. – Rudyard Kipling



As books furnish a room, so do lines quoted from books furnish the landscape of our minds. This space is reserved for notable quotes from my journals and our sources with the invitation for you to add yours to mine at any time. In other words, please comment!

Although they are random in topic, I chose these quotes for at least 3 reasons: 1) they have plucked my heart-strings, 2) ignited a spark in my brain, or 3) resonated in my ear. Sometimes these ideas have even traveled to my fingers, where they become reborn as I write. A preview:

5.13.90  A camel is an animal that looks as though he had been designed by a committee.   quoted by Paul Bowles The Sheltering Sky

5.13.90  If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.  Thoreau Walden

5.24.90  I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a whole lifetime of nothing special. Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias

6.8.90  We have met the enemy and they are us.  Pogo

6.8.90  One for all and all for one.  Three Musketeers

Quotes are selected not always because I agree with them, but they have given me cause for pause. You will be notified when new quotes are posted.

Why people read

1.7.94  We read books to know we are not alone.  William Nicholson  

Love to children

4.2.89  The love you give your children is like black paper: it absorbs and you can’t see it, but you know it’s there. Mary Kalegis

On Jacksonville

7.27.91  Jacksonville  . . . an Oz of blue-green skyscrapers, a city of dreams at the end of the pine-green tunnel . . . shines from a number of angles like a jewel being turned in your hand.    John Updike, Rabbit at Rest

On Relationships

10.21.91 Relationships with the opposite sex reflect our efforts to find answers for problems with our parents. Relationships with our friends represent our efforts to find solutions for problems with our siblings. (Quoted by Shirley McLaine, who undoubtedly quoted from someone else.)

On Sanity

7.19.92 It occurred to her that her sanity was becoming intermittent, like a sudden stretch of intact road in an abandoned region. Or radio music, blatant after months of static.   K. Braverman, Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta

On Birthdays

2.10.96  The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose the other ages you’ve been.   Madeleine L’Engle

On Angels

5.8.97  Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.   G. K. Chesterton

On Hope

7.11.95  As long as matters are hopeful, hope is a mere  . . . platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength. Like all Christian virtues, it is as unreasonable as it is indispensable.   G. K. Chesterton, Heretics

* * * * *

2nd Edition *** Published August 10, 2013 Purple Passages II with Pictures

3rd Edition ***  Published September 11, 2013 Purple Passages III with Pictures

4th Edition ***  Published October 12, 2013 Purple Passages IV with a Pig

5th Edition ***  Published November 9, 2013  Purple Passages V November 2013 

6th Edition *** Published December 7, 2013  Purple Passages VI December 2013

7th Edition *** Published January 15, 2014  Purple Passages VII with Pictures January 2014

8th Edition *** Published February 12, 2014  Purple Passages VIII with Pictures February 2014

9th Edition *** Published March 22, 2014  Purple Passages IX with a Fish & a Kiss, March 2014

10th Edition *** Published April 12, 2014  Purple Passages X with a Dragon and a Gift, April 2014

11th Edition*** Published May 14, 2014  Purple Passages XI and a Laugh, May 2014

12th Edition*** Published June 11, 2014  Purple Passages with a June Bride, June 2014

13th Edition*** Published July 16, 2014  Purple Passages with a Camel, July 2014

14th Edition*** Published August 27, 2014  Purple Passages and Feet in the Creek, August 2014.

15th Edition*** Published September 20, 2014  Purple Passages and a Mirror, September 2014.

16th Edition*** Published October 15, 2014  Purple Passages and a Teddy Bear, October 2014. 

17th Edition*** Published November 12, 2014  Purple Passages and Fine China, November 2014.

18th Edition*** Published December 17, 2014  Purple Passages: Time and Tiny Tim, December 2014. 

19th Edition*** Published January 17, 2015  Purple Passages: Rich Word$, January 2015.

20th Edition*** Published February 21,  2015   Purple Passages with a Weather Forecast,  February 2015

21st Edition*** Published March 21, 2015  Purple Passages with a Pop of Pink, March 2015

22nd Edition*** Published April 22 , 2015  Purple Passages with the Bard of Avon, April 2015

23rd Edtion*** Published May  27, 2015   Purple Passage: Secrets of the Grimké House, May 2015

24th Edition*** Published July 18, 2015   Purple Passages in Rainbow Colors, July 2015

25th Edition*** Published August 19, 2015   Kids, Oaks, and Quotes: Purple Passages for August 2015

26th Edition*** Published September 30, 2015   Red, Yellow, Green Apples, Fall’s Traffic Lights: Purple Passages for September 2015

27th Edition*** Published January 6, 2016   My Word, It’s 2016!

28th Edition***Published January 20, 2016  Sastruga: Snowy Winter Blankets

29th Edition***Published February 29, 2016  Are You Ready for Spring?





7 thoughts on “Purple Passages

  1. Thank you for your comments on katesclippings. I sense we have much in common: a childhood in a close Baptist community here in Australia for me; a lifetime of reading; a long cherished dream to write now beginning; a continuing search for the sacred; the gym/getting fit; a deep delight in teaching adults… I look forward to getting to know you!


  2. My Grandmother, S.Mary Espenshade Ulrich, also from Rheems, and then Elizabethtown, often said to me,” Too soon old, too late Smart”…….Boy, she was so right!

    Now, if you are related to Harry and Dorie Longenecker, yes Rheems,…. I cannot find the words to express the level of my excitement as it continues to escalate with the memories that flood my mind, going way, way, back. So this is blogging? Thank-you, Good nite, and God bless


    1. Philip, my Aunt Ruth Longenecker was the principal of Rheems Elementary School for several decades. It seems to me she had a secretary named Dorie, but I am not sure. The name sounds familiar, but I don’t think we are related. Again, thanks for your interest in tracing family history. The internet makes all this possible – amazing! Thanks for your thoughts and comments.


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