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“Thought: To think you can change your life by changing its outward conditions is just like thinking, as I did as a boy, that by sitting on a stick and taking hold of it at both ends I could lift myself up.”

Leo Tolstoy

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source: January 15, 1891 entry, in Tolstoy’s Diaries Volume 1, 1847–1894, trans. by R. F. Christian (London: Faber and Faber, 2010), 300.

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medium: Journal

“It’s very hard to stop doing things you’re used to doing. You almost have to dismantle yourself and scatter it all around and then put a blindfold on and put it back together so that you avoid old habits.”

Tom Waits

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source: Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits, by Barney Hoskyns (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2010), 276.

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medium: Biography

“I don’t understand why people talk of art as a luxury when it’s a mind-altering possibility. I don’t even want to please the reader, I want to change them, to expand their imaginations, seduce them, free them, take them to a place they haven’t been before.”

Jeanette Winterson

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source: “Redemption Songs,” by Maya Jaggi, The Guardian, May 29, 2004.

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medium: newspaper profile

“When we promised during the campaign ‘change you can believe in,’ it wasn’t ‘change you can believe in in 18 months.’ It was ‘change you can believe in—but we’re going to have to work for it.’ ”

President Barack Obama

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source: “In ‘Daily Show’ Visit, Obama Defends Record,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, October 27, 2010.

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medium: television interview

“The end of an Empire is messy at best
And this Empire is ending
Like all the rest”

Randy Newman

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source: “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” Harps and Angels (Nonesuch, August, 2008).

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medium: lyrics

“The death of a dear friend, wife, brother, lover, which seemed nothing but privation, somewhat later assumes the aspect of a guide or genius; for it commonly operates revolutions in our way of life, terminates an epoch of infancy or of youth which was waiting to be closed, breaks up a wonted occupation, or a household, or style of living, and allows the formation of new ones more friendly to the growth of character.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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source: “Compensation,” in The Spritual Emerson (Boston: Beacon Press, 2003), 130.

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medium: nonfiction

“The reason to travel: there are inner transitions we can’t properly cement without a change of locations.”

Alain de Botton

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source: Twitter, 9:03 AM Apr 12, 2010 via web

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medium: social media

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