Susan B. Anthony said that the bicycle did more to emancipate women than any other single thing. The bicycle was linked in the psyches of women at that time as a symbol of practical emancipation. Women could go places, wear their skirts shorter to manage the bicycle, and be independent. ~ Susan Vreeland
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense is his life, large-brained, large-lunged, hot, ecstatic, his frame charged with buoyancy and his heart with song.
~ John Burroughs
Wildebeest made this paper mache sculpture in elementary school and it sat in our storage room for years. I finally cleaned out said storage room this summer and took a photo before disposing of the body. I texted the photo to Wildebeest.
Me: Cleaning out storage room. Saying goodbye to your pirate!
Wildebeest: That’s just horrifying.
Me: The pirate? Or saying goodbye?
Wildebeest: The pirate. Get rid of it ASAP.
Now I’m kinda wishing the sad, old pirate was around to commiserate. I think he’d understand.
I went in search of a quotation, thinking I’d find one about how days can truly feel as if they passed in a blur. Instead, I found something much better. A quote that makes me laugh:
Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! If you want to be famous, you have to do whatever you’re doing worse than anyone else in the whole world. ~ Miroslav Tichy
I’m pretty sure I achieved that last line. Well, except for the fame part.
At the end of the day, everything you chase will run. ~ Burna Boy
In dreams, anything can be anything, and everybody can do. We can fly, we can turn upside down, we can transform into anything. ~ Twyla Tharp
I’ll take a pass on transforming into this squirrel. One, she hangs upside to eat and, two, she eats suet which is made with all sorts of stuff I avoid except on behalf of birds.
That’s right…birds. Not squirrels. Can someone please let her know the squirrel food’s on the back fence?
Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art. ~ Frederic Chopin
How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold. ~ William Wordsworth
So it’s after 5:00 pm here in Colorado and I haven’t yet added one single word to my work-in-progress. Why? In part, I had much to do today. But in greater part? I’ve reached the point in which I need to write BIG climatic scenes and I’m intimidated. It was easier to tend to other business today.
I need to make like a Meadow flower and feel free to try and fail, all the way down to my roots. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Last night I met with the young leaders of the Sunrise Movement in Colorado, and heard some tough news. As I listened, I slouched lower and then lower in my chair. At the same time, I noticed the young woman across from me sitting straighter, back erect and strong. It was as if I was a cautionary tale. The lower I went, the higher she sat. No caving in for her. It was a beautiful sight.
I’d like to be more mindful of sitting and standing tall, no matter the situation.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind. ~ Morihei Ueshiba
The human body is a steed that goes freest and longest under a light rider, and the lightest of all riders is a cheerful heart. ~John Burroughs
And who is more cheerful than a chickadee?
Today is cold and icy. Again. Unlike two weeks ago, I am not venturing outside because I very much do not want to slip and fall again. Instead, I went in search of an appropriate quotation for this ice-encrusted day. I found the following . It speaks to me, despite never having directed a film. I read it as “Writing a novel is mystifying…”
Directing is mystifying. It’s a long, long, skid on an icy road, and you do the best you can trying to stay on the road… If you’re still here when you come out of the spin, it’s a relief. But you’ve got to have the terror if you’re going to do anything worthwhile.
~ Mike Nichols
Suffice to say, I’m firmly in the white-knuckle, can-I-pull-this-off portion of the writing process right now. First drafts can be simultaneously exhilarating and puke-inducing.
“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.” ~ George Eliot, Middlemarch
Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom.
We feed them and tame them and think we know them.
And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.
~ David Attenborough
A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.
~ Groucho Marx
(As an aside, it’s the one-year anniversary of Loki’s big dental procedure in which he lost almost all of his teeth. Despite his expression here (pre-procedure), he’s one of the gentlest souls on the planet and I’m grateful for his good-luck companionship.)
We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.
~ Louisa May Alcott
Okay, Ms. Alcott, count me in.
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon.
In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
~ Patti Smith
Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.
~ Robert Browning
Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain. ~ Henry David Thoreau
In October, a maple tree before your window lights up your room like a great lamp. Even on cloudy days, its presence helps to dispel the gloom. ~ John Burroughs
Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit thereof. ~ Wallace Stevens
True strength is delicate. ~ Louise Berliawsky Nevelson
I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom,
till you yourself burst into bloom.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I’ve mentioned before that I’m usually a one-project-at-a-time kinda writer. It seems my brain and creative juices struggle when I switch focus. BUT. I think it’s a good skill to cultivate, juggling projects, so I bought myself a brand new notebook for a brand new middle-grade novel idea I’d like to noodle on while working on my work-for-hire nonfiction project. If you hear the sound of shrieking gears, that’ll be my brain right before I burst into bloom.
The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it?
~ Sandra Cisneros