In Stillness and Simplicity

December 11, 2007 at 10:25 am


Perfection is achieved,

not when there is nothing more to add,

but when there is nothing left to take away.

  – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I keep hearing the words of the Michael Card song “In Stillness and Simplicity”.  It’s from one of his earlier albums.  I posted this quote today and have thought of it all day long, not so much in terms of perfection, but in knowing where to stop.  I remember times I’ve created something, a craft or piece of art, and I fool with it and mess with it, and then, the point comes when it feels I am taking away something to add anything else to it…any more work, effort, or “touching” of it at all.  There just comes a time when it is time to stop.  I think of that everytime I cut hair!  You can strive for perfection to the point that you are bald.  There comes a point when you just stop.  It is what it is. 

Editing applies to this quote.  One AP English teacher taught me over and over again:  “It is harder to write briefly a clear and effective message than to write a 2000 page book.  Strive for brevity and concise writing.”  How true. 

I don’t know that I hit “concise writing” well.  I enjoy the various facets of a thought and I enjoy turning over all the rocks to see what lies there. 

Still, the message of simplicity, or “less being more” is central to my thoughts this season.  Oh yes, I won’t lie:  there is that desire to be delighted that is the child in each of us.  But, I want more than anything, below the surface, to just know the gift of contentment.  The gift of using well what I have.  The gift of sharing my time, myself, my life-energy…good priority.  The appreciate and give more the gift of the smile.  To love, to know, to be, to do.  Those precious things can’t be bought or measured, only deliverately given from a very disciplined, honed, focused life driven by clear, sole, purpose and priority.  You don’t “get” that.  You attain it.  You reflect it from the very life of Jesus.


Entry filed under: Art, Creativity, Quotes.

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.


Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)



"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa



"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa




A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving




When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe


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