Thursday, May 05, 2011

"Find out as soon as possible what are the best things in your composition, and then shape the rest to fit them.  The former will be the midrib and veins of the leaf.

There is always some accident in the best things, whether thoughts or expressions or deeds.  The memorable thought, the happy expression, the admirable deed are only partly ours.  The thought came to use because we were in a fit mood; also we were unconscious and did not know that we had said or done a good thing.  We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.  What we do best or most perfectly is what we have most thoroughly learned by the longest practice, and at length it falls from us without our notice, as a leaf from a tree.  It is the last time we shall do it,--our unconscious leavings."

H.D. Thoreau--Journal  March 11, 1859