Tag Archives: quotes

marilyn monroe poster

Imperfection and Concoction

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than boring. Marilyn Monroe

L’imperfection est la beauté, la folie est le génie.

In the fall of 1946 Marilyn Monroe was granted a divorce from her first husband, Jim Dougherty, … later saying, “My marriage didn’t make me sad, but it didn’t make me happy either. My husband and I hardly spoke to each other. This wasn’t because we were angry. We had nothing to say. I was dying of boredom.”
marilyn monroe poster

Unfortunately, the first quote attributed to the beautifully imperfect Marilyn is a fairy tale concoction that is all made up. The quote about her husband is true.

There were brains behind the beauty and Marilyn had many great quotes, including:

We should all start to live before it is too late.


Nothing could be further from the truth

It is a fact, strange and universal, that each of us believes that everyone should think and feel as one, but nothing could be further from the truth.

C’est un fait étrange et universelle, que nous croyons que tout le monde devrait penser et se sentir comme un, mais rien ne serait être plus éloigné de la vérité.

Ihr sagt, “Jeder als Einer denken und fühlen sollte, aber nichts ist weiter von die Wahrheit.”


The act of translation proves the impossibility of becoming one with either the author or the reader. Still, we try. The search for truth draws us near, but never quite there.

Jamais la vérité, mais près.

Faith should not conquer, it should console.

Good company

Il n’y a pas tant d’hommes de bonne fortune comme il y a des jolies femmes pour les méritons. Jane Austin

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My idea of good company is the company of well-informed people who have lots of clever conversation. That is what I call good company.

Lacking that, I find that a good chair will suffice. Alone, to sit in the shade and gaze upon God’s green earth is the most perfect refreshment. There, I can escape the unpleasant thought that there are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.

Mainly Jane Austin

There are too many quotes on good company to quote them all. I’ll just leave you with this:

En général, l’espoir n’est pas un bon guide, mais il est la bonne compagnie et souvent tout ce que vous avez.

Hope is generally not a good guide but it is good company and too often all you’ve got.

Living color




Language is nuanced. Can you spot the differences and would you suggest others?

The valley is green, the hills are blue, the sun is a bright, bright yellow.
Here I stand, camera in hand saying to everyone and no one, hello.

La vallée est verte, les collines sont bleues, le soleil est un brillant, jaune vif.
Ici je me tiens, la caméra en main disant à tout le monde et personne, comment allez-vous?

Das Tal ist grün, die Hügel sind blau, die Sonne ist hell, hellgelb.
Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders, die Kamera in Hand, für jedem und niemandem, Wer sagt hallo?

Ves más allá?
El valle es verde, las colinas son azules, el sol es un amarillo brillante, brillante..

Aquí estoy, la cámara en la mano diciendo a nadie y todo el mundo, hola.



Saper vedere

Saper Vedere – Learning to see


Assumptions are the termites of knowledge and the death of learning.


Leonardo’s eyes

Saper Vedere, Leonardo da Vinci’s phrase is translated as “to know how to see.”

Leonard would be shocked at such a hasty assumption. Knowledge is something arrived at over years, after a careful course of study. And even then it must be applied to the context of the study, the history of the times and the meaning of the author.

“Learning how to see” seems more apropos of the phrase and closer to Leonardo’s intent.

I would not be so presumptuous as to believe I could see as Leonardo. His was a gift. An ability to perceive without assumption. To see and to learn something that others failed to see. Something we still are looking for in Mona Lisa’s eyes and in her smile.

Mona Lisa’s eyes

Five hundred years later, Camille Pissarro put it beautifully:

Heureux ceux qui voient de belles choses dans les endroits modestes où d’autres ne voient rien.

Camille Pissarro 1893

Blessed are they who see beauty in life’s little things  where others see nothing.


Quite nice, don’t you think?

Then again I have also seen Pissarro’s phrase begin with:

“Bienes soit ceux-la…”

Happy or blessed, is there a difference?

Words, words, words, what do they mean? Perhaps only Mona Lisa knows and she is not speaking, and rightly finds it quite amusing.



Dieu aime chacun de nous comme s’il n’y avait qu’un seul d’entre nous. Saint Augustin

yellow tulip

Astonishing is the literary output of St. Augustine of Hippo. Augustine preached some 8000 sermons, of which less than 500 are printed.  In addition, there are dialogues, thoughts, and writings whose equivalent is that of “writing a 300-page book every year for 40 years.”

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Saint Augustine

red tulip

Mais gardez l’œil ouvert


Vous ne pouvez pas compter sur l’œil quand votre imagination est floue. Mark Twain


From the Quote Investigator: In 1889 Twain wrote “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” in which a character was attempting to determine if an armed group was going to attack.

This sound thickened and approached—from toward the north. Presently I heard it at my own level—the ridge-top of the opposite embankment, a hundred feet or more away. Then I seemed to see a row of black dots appear along that ridge—human heads?

I couldn’t tell; it mightn’t be anything at all; you can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. However, the question was soon settled. I heard that metallic noise descending into the great ditch. It augmented fast, it spread all along, and it unmistakably furnished me this fact: an armed host was taking up its quarters in the ditch.