Tag Archives: aphorisms

Proverbs of Satchel Paige

Satchel Paige (1906-1982): a great baseball pitcher and aphorist. (I’m a Paige too, but don’t believe we’re related..)

Proverbs: n. A short pithy saying in frequent and widespread use that expresses a basic truth or practical precept.

Satchel Paige once said:

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

A couple of days ago I was walking the dog in the spring air and felt like I  was 43. Paige also said:

“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Today is my birthday and though I feel 43 from the knees up, from my left ankle down I feel 100 and I mind.

Some time between Thursday’s walk and Friday morning I tweaked my ankle. I haven’t a clue when, where, or how — but for the past two days it feels just like I sprained it – stiff, slightly swollen, and ouchy.

Despite the pain, yesterday morning I took a couple of ibuprofen and went walking with my best friend.  My ankle didn’t bother me much because we were engrossed in talking. But today it’s no better and when I looked up treatment of sprained ankle in my health book it said to give it RICE.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. None of which I’ve done.

GRRR. I’d expected to go to yoga, take Molly on a walk, mow the lawn for the first time since fall.  I wanted my birthday to be a celebration of my vibrant health. Instead I’m experiencing its frailty.

Other sayings of Satchel worth thinking about today:

“You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.”

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”


Pastoral prose poet: E.B. White

pastoral: of or pertaining to the the country or country life; having the qualities of idealized country life, such as charming simplicity and a leisurely, carefree pace.

I’m celebrating the birthday today of E.B. White, one of my all time top favorite writers, not even counting his children’s books. His essays on the “pastoral” life are as alive now as they were when he wrote them decades ago – poetry in prose. My favorite, “Death of a Pig,” makes me smile just to think of it.

From today’s Writer’s Almanac:

Today is the birthday of the man who gave us Charlotte’s Web, E.B. (Elwin Brooks) White, born in Mount Vernon, New York (1899). He was a writer for many years for The New Yorker magazine. He later moved with his wife to a farmhouse in Maine.

E.B. White wrote, “Just to live in the country is a full-time job. You don’t have to do anything. The idle pursuit of making a living is pushed to one side, where it belongs, in favor of living itself, a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace.”

White was a solid liberal whose political writings before and during World War II were especially thoughtful.

He was also a witty aphorist. Here are a few of my favorites:

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus.

I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

It is easier for a man to be loyal to his club than to his planet; the bylaws are shorter, and he is personally acquainted with the other members.

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

A writer is like a bean plant, he has his little day, and then he gets stringy.

The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people.

The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.