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Thoughts

  • Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met.

  • ... once you wake up thought in a man, you can never put it to sleep again.

  • Conversation is the legs on which thought walks; and writing, the wings by which it flies.

  • Our thoughts are often worse than we are.

    • George Eliot,
    • "Mr Gilfil's Love Story," Scenes of Clerical Life ()
  • I come from nothing; but from where / Come the undying thoughts I bear?

  • You had to finesse to get her opinion, but any amount of trouble was worth the deadly hitting on the nail that followed.

  • All Hannah Berry's thoughts slid, as it were, in well-greased grooves; only give one a starting push and it went on indefinitely and left all others behind ...

  • It takes a long time for words to become thought ...

    • May Sarton,
    • "Poet in Residence," The Lion and the Rose ()
  • ... I must say this in the behalf of my thoughts, that I never found them idle; for if the senses bring no work in, they will work of themselves, like silk-worms that spins out of their own bowels.

    • Margaret Cavendish,
    • Duchess of Newcastle, "A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding, and Life," Nature's Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life ()
  • Thoughts are like stars in the firmament; some are fixed, others like the wandering planets, others again are only like meteors. Understanding is like the Sun, which gives light to all the thoughts. Memory is like the Moon, it hath its new, its full and its wane.

    • Margaret Cavendish,
    • "Aphorisms," The Cavalier and His Lady: Selected From the Works of the First Duke and Duchess of Newcastle ()
  • I hold it true that thoughts are things / Endowed with bodies, breath, and wings, / And that we send them forth to fill / The world with good results — or ill.

  • There are no evil thoughts except one: the refusal to think.

  • ... you want to know what I like and dislike. I will answer you by paraphrasing Howard Roark in The Fountainhead: 'Don't ask me about my family, my childhood, my friends or my feelings. Ask me about the things I think.'

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1963, in Michael Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • It is amazing how much a thought expands and refines by being put into speech: I should think it could hardly know itself.

  • Their thoughts moved brightly toward each other, like fireflies in the darkness.

  • ... my thoughts are sea-gulls / Lifting out to sea.

  • How do most people live without any thoughts? There are many people in the world, — you must have noticed them in the street, — how do they live? How do they get strength to put on their clothes in the morning?

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., The Letters of Emily Dickinson 1845-1886 ()
  • To make my diary a little different I am going to call it a Thought Book ... I have thoughts that I never can use unlesss I write them down, for Aunt Miranda always says, Keep your thoughts to yourself.

  • [On thoughts:] You can't hinder 'em, any more than you can the birds that fly in the air; but you need n't let 'em light and make a nest in your hair.

  • ... you can die of the wrong thought as quick as of a bullet.

  • I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.

  • The world is the work of a single thought, expressed in a thousand different ways.

  • First thoughts have tremendous energy. It is the way the mind first flashes on something. The internal censor usually squelches them, so we live in the realm of second and third thoughts, thoughts on thought, twice and three times removed from the direct connection of the first fresh flash.

  • I have no riches but my thoughts, / Yet these are wealth enough for me ...

  • I send you my thoughts — the air between us is laden, / My thoughts fly in at your window, a flock of wild birds.

  • Every thought vibrates through the universe.

  • Thoughts succeed thoughts, like restless troubled waves, / Dashing out one another.

  • As a pale moth passes / In the April grasses, / So I come and go, / Softlier than snow.

    • Mary Webb,
    • "The Thought," in Martin Armstrong, ed., The Essential Mary Webb ()
  • Like hungry flies, his thoughts buzzed around inside his head.

  • [On answering questions with her first thought:] My thoughts are like waffles — the first few don't look too good.

  • What curious little corners of folly are to be found in even the sanest brain!

  • ... my thoughts are like quick little fish that swim out of my grasp.

  • There is thought, and then there is thinking about thoughts, and they don't feel the same.

  • [On John Cleese:] He sometimes seems to swat at his own thoughts as if they were bees.

  • You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts ...

    • Nikki Giovanni,
    • in Virginia C. Fowler, Conversations With Nikki Giovanni ()
  • ...Grandpa's mind had left us, gone wild and wary. When I walked with him I could feel how strange it was. His thoughts swam between us, hidden under rocks, disappearing in weeds, and I was fishing for them, dangling my own words like baits and lures.

  • Thought is mind in motion, and every activity upon this earth began as a secret thought.

  • There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level.

  • ... thoughts are acrobats, agile and quite often untrustworthy.

  • Thoughts are energy, and you can make your world or break your world by your thinking.

  • Try to think of your thoughts as boomerangs — that is actually what they are — except that our thoughts multiply and each returns to us with a brood like itself.

  • Thoughts can hurt like real pain.

  • Thoughts are odd misfires.