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It’s fine to have talent, but talent is the last of it. In an acting career, as in an acting performance, you’ve got to have vitality. The secret of successful acting is identical with a woman’s beauty secret: joy in living.

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Poor worms, they hiss at me, whilst I at home Can be contented to applaud myself, . . . with joy To see how plump my bags are and my barns.

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We are destined for joy no matter how difficult our daily life. Something in us responds to the happiness other people experience, because we glimpse life as God intended it to be.

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When we begin to believe that there is greater joy in working with and for others, rather than just for ourselves, then our society will truly become a place of celebration.

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The joys of marriage are the heaven on earth, Life’s paradise, great princess, the soul’s quiet, Sinews of concord, earthly immortality, Eternity of pleasures.

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Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. This retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes unlived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came.

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So much in life seems inflexible and unchangeable, and part of the joy of running and especially racing is the realization that improvement and progress can be achieved.

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What was time itself but the bloom, the sheath enfolding experience? Within time, and with time alone, there was life – the gleam, the quiver, the heartbeat, the immeasurable joy and anguish of being.

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The year has held its ups and downs for me; I’m sure it has for you, too. I’m counting on the year ending on a note of joy (and gingerbread!) and look forward to a new year brimming with promise and peace.