Marie Beynon Ray? Francis Bacon? Henry David Thoreau? W. Somerset Maugham? Booth Tarkington?
Dear Quote Investigator: Our life on Earth does not extend forever. A writer once used two vivid and clashing metaphors to describe this precious moment:
Sparkling like a star in our hands and melting like a snowflake
This figurative language has been attributed to English philosopher Francis Bacon and U.S. self-help author Marie Beynon Ray. Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: There is no substantive evidence that Francis Bacon penned this remark. He died in 1626, and the saying was attributed to him centuries later in 2001.
In 1952 Marie Beynon Ray published “The Best Years of Your Life” in which she discussed enjoying a full life during retirement years. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1952, The Best Years of Your Life by Marie Beynon Ray, Quote Page 82, Little, Brown and Company, Boson, Massachusetts, (Google Books snippet match; not yet verified with hardcopy by QI)
But we are not living in eternity. We have only the present moment, sparkling like a star in our hands — and melting like a snowflake.
We’d better get started.
QI believes Marie Beynon Ray deserves credit for the saying above. Other writers have penned thematically related statements about the importance of the present moment. Here are some chronologically ordered examples.
|↑1||1952, The Best Years of Your Life by Marie Beynon Ray, Quote Page 82, Little, Brown and Company, Boson, Massachusetts, (Google Books snippet match; not yet verified with hardcopy by QI)|