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Beginnings

  • ... we are always afraid to start something that we want to make very good, true, and serious.

  • The first step is what I like to be sure of ... to the second step it often binds you.

  • ... a little misgiving in the beginning of things, means much regret in the end of them.

  • Thing are achieved when they are well begun. / The perfect archer calls the deer his own / While yet the shaft is whistling.

  • In all failures, the beginning is certainly the half of the whole.

  • In my end is my beginning — that's what people are always saying. But what does it mean?

  • Beginnings are apt to be shadowy ...

  • ... the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing.

  • Every event, menial or momentous, has a first step. And it goes on and on, until the last day. And even on that day, we have a first-time experience. On that day, the bud becomes a blossom. For the first time, we die.

  • The fresh start is always an illusion but a necessary one.

  • It is in the very nature of a beginning to carry with itself a measure of complete arbitrariness. Not only is it not bound into a reliable chain of cause and effect, a chain in which each effect immediately turns into the cause for future developments, the beginning has, as it were, nothing whatever to hold on to; it is as though it came out of nowhere in either time or space.

  • ... it's much easier to get yourself into something than to get out of it ...

  • All beginnings are very troublesome things ...

    • L.E. Landon,
    • "Mabel Dacre's First Lessons," Traits and Trials of Early Life ()
  • Nothing, of course, begins at the time you think it did ...

  • A good start in life is as important to plants as it is to children: they must develop strong roots in a congenial soil, otherwise they will never make the growth that will serve them richly according to their needs in their adult life.

  • ... all birth is unwilling.

  • The fog lifted in the evening and a blue-black band at the horizon marked the end of the sea and the beginning of thought. Where does a beginning begin when nothing has gone on before?

  • Health to my friend, and long unbroken years, / By storms unruffled and unstained by tears: / Winged by new joys may each white minute fly; / Spring on her cheek, and sunshine in her eye ...

  • Worrying about where to begin puts you in a fair way to waste your life worrying, without getting noticeably closer to beginning.

  • Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. / Not all things are blest, but the / seeds of all things are blest. / The blessing is in the seed.

  • The High Holy Days of my childhood ... embodied the very essence of new beginnings; for autumn, not spring, was when everything was new: my clothes, my classroom, books, pencil box, teachers — and Jewish chronology, which decreed a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to improve on the past.

  • To choose is also to begin.

  • One always goes on as one begins ...

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • 1576, in E. Allison Peers, ed., The Letters of Saint Teresa of Jesus, vol. 1 ()
  • But one had to go back to the beginning of things, always. Trace the thread of life — find the knot — untangle it.

  • ... the first night is the worst possible time to make a hard and fast criticism: the baby never looks its best on the day it is born.

  • Getting a project started is like moving a ship. It takes a lot of energy to build up momentum.

  • Pick yourself up, dust yourself off; start all over again.

    • Dorothy Fields,
    • with music by Jerome Kern, "Pick Yourself Up," Swing Time ()
  • It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.

    • Amelia Earhart,
    • in Victoria Garrett Jones, Amelia Earhart: A Life in Flight ()
  • I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often the mustard seed germinates and roots itself.

  • If you don't place your foot on the rope, you'll never cross the chasm.

  • No first step can be really great; it must of necessity possess more of prophecy than of achievement; nevertheless it is by the first step that a man marks the value, not only of his cause, but of himself.

  • In the universe there is room for an infinite series of beginnings.

  • Any knitter knows that a project poorly begun is doomed to fail.

    • Jennifer Lauck,
    • "One Year Marriage," in Ann Hood, Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting ()
  • I prepare for my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse. The first day or two of my plans usually goes okay.

  • The joy is in the doing, not in the holding fast to that which is done. / Oh, the magic of letting go! It is the magic of the gods. / ... / Yes, there is a magic to holding on to a thing until it is finished and perfect; / But when a thing is finished, whether it be a poem, a love, or a child, let it go. / In that way you are free again and may begin another. It is the secret of eternal youth.

  • ... it is always easier to see the beginning from the end, than the end from the beginning.

  • There are no beginnings or endings, only movement.

  • The end of a thing, / is never the end, / something is always being born like / a year or a baby.

  • Many a good beginning makes a bad ending.

  • Mary Stuart wrote, 'My end is in my beginning.' It is easier to agree with her than to decide what is the beginning, and what is the end.

  • Every exit is an entrance to someplace else.

    • Patti LaBelle,
    • in Patti LaBelle and Laura Randolph Lancaster, Patti's Pearls ()
  • There is no beginning to an end / But there is a beginning and an end / To beginning.

  • Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that's why we decide we're done. It's getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.

  • It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a lifestage, a relationship, is over — and let it go. It involves a sense of the future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on, rather than out.

  • It isn't given to us to see ends. We can only attend to the beginnings and make them right.

  • If there are no endings, there are no beginnings and you see no new lands, so for everything that's lost, there is usually something gained.

  • It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.

    • Joan Didion,
    • "Goodbye to All That," Slouching Towards Bethlehem ()
  • The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.

  • In life there are no real endings or beginnings.