Letter #2: When In Doubt, Turn to Oscar Wilde (and Tea!)
Man, the last year seems to just really have hit me in recent days. It had already been a rather full load to take in, but wowee, am I tired.
My response? First, tea. (It solves everything, obviously.) Second, Oscar Wilde quotes. (This little ghost’s brain defaults to quotes in times of stress.)
A Ghostly Side Note: My favorite teas for calming down are peppermint (preferably plain peppermint leaves, steeped for literal eons, without milk or sugar) and rooibos (another lovely herbal tisane with such warmth and nuttiness to it that it’s too perfect to need any additions).
Another Side, Side Note: Oftentimes, teas like peppermint are called ‘herbals teas.’ This is a slight misnomer, as these are technically ‘tisanes,’ which are basically tea without true tea leaves. (Hence ‘tisane’ and not ‘tea.’) Tea leaves have to come from a certain type of plant to be classified as a true ‘tea,’ while tisanes are the leaves, flowers, etc. of any other plant besides this specific tea plant. Black teas, green teas, and oolongs are true teas, as they’re made from the leaves of a tea plant. This just means that herbal ‘teas’ like chamomile are technically ‘tisanes.’ Also, tisanes don’t have caffeine, like true teas do. Very nitpicky, but I love my research too much to not share this little tidbit with you all!
Anyway, back to Oscar Wilde!
While I do love the oft-quoted “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” there are way, WAY more rockin’ Oscar Wilde quotes out there than just that gem. Boy, could that man drop some deep stuff in the simplest one-liners.
So, because I needed something fun and chill and I thought you might too, here are 30 delightful quotes from the legend himself that just make me want to curl up in a blanket fort. (Now this, this is self-care.)
Just Some Cozy Oscar Wilde Quotes**:
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
“Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.”
“I am not young enough to know everything.”
“You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
“To define is to limit.”
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”
“Who, being loved, is poor?”
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
“Some things are more precious because they don't last long.”
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
“If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life.”
“To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.”
“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”
“Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.”
“The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously─ and have somebody find out.”
“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.”
“It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. And even more courage to see it in the one you love.”
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.”
“The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly─ that is what each of us is here for.”
“’I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.’”
“Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”
And, for the pièce de résistance, one of my favorite quotes of all time: “With freedom, flowers, books, and the moon, who could not be perfectly happy?”
**This list is a hodgepodge of quotes from his writings, including The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, De Profundis, An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan, and others.
This is not an exhaustive list at all. Wilde has an astounding amount of wonderful quotes I’ve been slowly parsing through to find sweet ones like these. I’m sure will return with many, many more over the course of this newsletter, as I can never get enough of his quotes!
Another Aside: Honestly, with how much I just wrote about tea here, I will probably end up posting at least something else about tea and tisanes in the future. Tea is just so fun to research and discuss! I know a fairly nominal amount about it, so I’d like to see what I can find on the history, picking, production, all that jazz. This is not the end of my tea rave. (I always want to say ‘rant’ when I mean ‘rave’ because ‘rave’ just makes me think of a party instead of the opposite of ranting.)
Well, thanks for stopping by!
Have a lovely day and happy reading!
A Note on Sources: Also, I had found out about this tisane vs. tea matter through word of mouth a year or two ago and hadn’t backed that up with the written word, so here, gaze upon my sources! :) Also, I will always default to a dictionary, even when I know the meaning of a word. I just love seeing how different dictionaries word their entries, plus I appreciate how Merriam Webster’s page gives you a bit of history!
Works Cited (MLA 8th Edition):
Goodwin, Lindsey. “What Is a Tisane?” The Spruce Eats, Dotdash, 25 Oct. 2019, www.thespruceeats.com/tisane-herbal-infusion-basics-766322. Accessed 2 Jun. 2021.
“Oscar Wilde Quotes (Author of The Picture of Dorian Gray).” Goodreads, Goodreads, Inc., pp. 1-7, www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3565.Oscar_Wilde?page=1. Accessed 2 Jun. 2021.
Sponagle, Michele. “Your Herbal Tea Isn't Really Tea.” Kitchn, Kitchn, 9 May 2016, www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-tea-and-tisane-231011. Accessed 2 Jun. 2021.
“Tea Tuesday: What's the Difference Between Tisane and Tea?” CoffeeAM, CoffeeAM, 11 Aug. 2015, www.coffeeam.com/blogs/blog/tea-tuesday-whats-the-difference-between-tisane-and-tea. Accessed 2 Jun. 2021.
“Tisane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tisane. Accessed 2 Jun. 2021.