For example, this evening:
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there". That one caught in the net.
I don't know exactly what Rumi meant, but to me, that says liberation, the idea of freeing yourself from judgement and finding the space to connect purely and simply, in forgiveness and acceptance. Beautiful.
However, most of the time all these valuable thoughts just flow past me with, at most, a skim read. And I know that means there's probably a whole heap of wisdom just falling off the bottom of my screen - but this is the problem: when it comes to quotes, sometimes there are just too many of them. Line after line of mindfulness that, after a while, becomes meaningless white noise.
And then I see dead people. That timeline is full of them. Wise, but dead. And it's a little like being in solitary confinement with a very well-written book to read.
Now don't get me wrong - I love quotes. I have a folder full of them and a good one appears like illumination in a sloeblack, crowblack sky… Mostly they're quoted by someone I admire for the powerful, seductive, expressive way they create shapes with language.
But there are times when that online deluge creates something of a feeding frenzy and gathering 'great quotes' and adding them to a collection becomes more important than taking them on board. This is when quote watching is more like waiting for a beautiful butterfly to land so you can stake it with a pin and put it in a box on the wall.
Words need the room to breathe, to live, to fly. This takes time and space which they don't get when they become a flood.
Simply put, the more I am told, the less I hear, but when I take the time to feel something, it lingers, unfolds and connects with something inside me. There is so much wisdom in the world, but sometimes creating space, without words, is the best way to let the knowledge you have take shape.
However, if I had to choose between having that background noise of illumination and inspiration or not, I admit I'd take the background noise.
There are times when those inspirational quotes appear with the frequency of fireworks on bonfire night - but I like fireworks. If ever I do something important in my life, I want there to be fireworks. And so why not have the written equivalent on an ongoing basis?
OK, so sometimes the rocket will misfire or fail to catch, but I'd sooner have a good supply of words designed to inspire and motivate than a set put together to ridicule and belittle. I'd rather have quotes about love than headlines of frustration and anger and I'd rather have a backdrop of positivity than an ongoing moan. Really, there's no contest.
And today, as it often is, my favourite quote is this one from Anais Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". Because it means something to me.
But really that's all these quotes are ever about - helping us identify a little bit of ourselves that we want to acknowledge and be proud of.