Comets Across the Sky


Artwork: Wiseblood by Helen Redman

Quotable Women

Donna Cross

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
---Helen Keller
Find your passion, find your passion from the center of your heart; if you can dream it, you can fulfill it.
---Shirley MacLaine
I'm a self-made woman.
--- Sojourner Truth
I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my "real" life again at last. That is what is strange--that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here and the house and I resume old conversations.
---May Sarton
The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.
---Florence Scovel Shinn
Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
---Willa Cather
From listening to the stories of others, we learn to tell our own.
---Margaret Atwood
My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.
---Indira Gandhi
In making theories, always keep a window open so that you can throw one out if necessary.
---Bela Schick
Fortunately, analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.
---Karen Horney
Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all--the apathy of human beings.
---Helen Keller
For if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
---Doreen Valiente (The Charge Of The Goddess)
It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
---Gertrude Stein
Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.
---Katherine Mansfield
Real life is messier than fiction.
---Sophy Burnham
The cure for anything is saltwater--sweat, tears, or the sea.
---Isak Dinesen
To others we are not ourselves but a performance in their lives cast for a part we do not even know we are playing.
---Elizabeth Bibesco
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
---Helen Keller
When I came to understand that there are mythic patterns in all our lives, I knew that all of us, often unbeknownst to ourselves, are engaged in a drama of soul which we were told was reserved for gods, heroes and saints.
---Deena Metzger
Prayer is a law of the universe, like gravity.
---Sophy Burnham
Think magic, think delight, think fun, think mystery.
---Julia Cameron
In every woman there is a Queen. Speak to the Queen and the Queen will answer.
---Norwegian proverb
Life begets life. Energy begets energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
---Sarah Bernhardt
The collector walks with blinders on; he sees nothing but the prize. In fact, the acquisitive instinct is incompatible with true appreciation of beauty.
---Anne Morrow Lindbergh
If I had my life to live again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
---Tallulah Bankhead
If the world were a logical place, men would ride sidesaddle.
---Rita Mae Brown
The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.
---Rebecca West
The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.
---Gloria Steinem
Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.
---Arlene Francis
The stakes are much too high for government to be a spectator sport.
--- Barbara Jordan
People who don't vote have no line of credit with people who are elected.
--- Marian Wright Edelman
Here, in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for how can "the consent of the governed" be given, if the right to vote be denied?
--- Susan B. Anthony
I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.
---Joan Didion
Procrastination is a cutting off. It diminishes you. Waiting is when you are ready in the work and you are feeding it and being fed by it. Then you can trust the waiting. Do not use the excuse of "waiting" for the right idea or story in order to begin. That is procrastination. Get to work. Know the difference between the two. Do not fool yourself. Be tough. But be tough the way a blade of grass is: rooted, willing to lean, and at peace with what's around it.
---Natalie Goldberg
Words have the power to wound or to heal, to attract or repel and [I must] think before I speak, weigh my words, because once spent they can't be retrieved.
---Susan L. Taylor
I do not feel inhibited or bound by what I am. That does not mean that I have never had bad scenes relating to being Black and/or a woman, it means that other people's craziness has not managed to make me crazy.
---Lucille Clifton
I am an ordinary human being who is impelled to write poetry. I still do feel that a poet has a duty to words, and that words can do wonderful things, and it's too bad to just let them lie there without doing anything with and for them.
---Gwendolyn Brooks
Because I and my reality did not comport with what they accepted as their reality, I and my reality had to be reconstructed by the Senate committee members with assistance from the press and others.
---Anita Hill
I continue to create because writing is a labor of love and also an act of defiance, a way to light a candle in a gale wind.
---Alice Childress
You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.
--- Adrienne Rich
Words are magical, intellectual banquets, orgies of ideas.
---Anais Nin
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
---George Eliot
Charity is an ugly trick. It is a virtue grown by the rich on the graves of the poor. Unless it is accompanied by sincere revolt against the present social system, it is cheap moral swagger.
---Rebecca West
Hold out your hands to feel the luxury of the sunbeams.
---Helen Keller
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
---Beverly Sills
Often we mistake knowledge for truth and forget that the sun shines on truth from different directions and casts a different shadow each time. When we look only at high noon, we miss a lot. If we mistake the shadow for truth itself, we delude ourselves. Our understanding must shine from ever-new directions.
---Eloise Ristad

Artwork: Wiseblood by Helen Redman

Other pieces in this issue by Donna Cross:

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