Wednesday, April 23, 2008

which words changed your life??

"One day you knew what you had to do, and began." - Mary Oliver

I am a collector of quotes. I love them. I read them over and over again, letting them sink deep into my bones. I write them down in books and journals, print them and put them up on my walls, and underline them in books. I am drawn to a beautiful phrase or a profound thought like other people are to paintings or clothes or shoes. I am an addict.

Sometimes you read something and it resonates and you really really love it. You write it down and read it several times and go back to it sometimes and read it again. These are great quotes. Other times you read something and it hits you really hard. You catch your breath and read it several more times and you begin to live it. These are amazing quotes. Then there is the last kind. The last kind is the kind that doesn't necessarily seem like much when you read it for the first time. You might scribble it down or live with it a little, but you don't realize what effect it has had on you. Then it begins to whisper to you. You hear it in your head out of the blue. It actually begins to speak to you and in the end you realize it has changed your life. These are the best quotes.

My life-changing quote was from Women Who Run With the Wolves. If you read my blog much you won't be surprised. This is the passage that made me change the way I wrote and the book I was writing:

"We find lingering evidence of [the Wild Woman] archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. it would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling the the company of the stars." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

It isn't a normal quote but it really echoes inside of me. I'll often be thinking something really yucky and suddenly the last bit pops into my head: stop contemplating the shit on your tail and start traveling in the company of the stars.

My writing is about that.

So as an avid collector I am asking - no, begging - you to use my comments to share with me the quote/ passage/ book/ poem/ lyrics/ words that changed your life. Which words were strung together in just the right way at the right time to make you shift? I would love to add them to my collection!! (And this time I will reply in my comments!)



leonie said...

1. life is either a daring adventure or nothing (helen keller)
2. for things to change, you have to change (jim rohn)
3. change your thoughts and you change your world (norman vincent peale)
4. wolf rules for life (from women who run with the wolves but clarissa pinkola estes)
5. congratulations! today is your day! (dr. seuss from the book oh! the places you'll go)
6. well behaved women rarely make history (unknown)
7. e kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia ki tēnei whenua. -- translates as: i will never be lost, i am a seed of this land. (maori saying, from my homeland, new zealand)

i have so many others too that i also have written in journals, scraps of paper etc. i would love to hear about more of yours too


Alex S said...

Hey! I have to "email" you back through your comment box because for the past 4-5 days my Yahoo won't let me send out emails and I don't know how to fix it! ) : I would LOVE to go this fall but the chances I actually can are extremely slim I am very sorry to say. I have 2 things I must be at in the fall and there is only so much $ and time I can take off work but I will be with you in huge spirit. If anything changes, I will let you know, ok? I'm honored, btw, to be asked!
As for quotes, I LOVE them too and right now the one i am trying to live by is "The best way to predict the future is to create it" by Abraham Lincoln. Its also on my homepage. (hey, did I tell you my website is done? I wrote it but Laini and Jim did ALL the design of it, mostly JIm with the art! Take a look at . Its not done though and still needs lots of editing!
I miss you and send you huge hugs!

I AM said...

There is no answer, seek it lovingly.

Jaime said...

I collect all my favourite quotes in a little book...

Courage is not the towering oak that sees the storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow. (Alice Mackenzie Swaim)

We don't see things are they are, we see them as we are. (Anias Nin)

When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly. (Barbara J Winter)

When it's dark enough, you can see the stars. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Beth said...

I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone in this love of quotes and paragraphs !!

I too love them all....and underline and dog ear pages when I find something good, just so I can go back and read them all again.

I also write them down on index cards and file them away and then pull them out whent I need one !!!

Thanks for sharing !!!

Kerstin said...

Every time I change my blog banner I wonder whether I should perhaps change the quote, too, the one that's been a part of it for almost a year now. But it so perfectly fits my life and outlook that I can never bring myself to remove it, so now it's a permanently integrated part of my blog, and me:

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far, unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." (Lillian Smith)

Another one I keep going back to whenever I feel the familiar pull of my tendency to procrastinate:

"What is not started today is never finished tomorrow." (Goethe)

Check out Ali Edward's blog, she has a great quote section on it.

mccabe said...

i love quotes too!

i don't remember the author-
or the exact wording~

but it was something like:

"take great risks on the universes behalf and you will be rewarded."


love you
mccabe x

chest of drawers said...

I think this one´s from Laini - it´s on one of her Laini´s Ladies:
"Life is not about finding yourself, it´s about creating yourself".I have that lady hanging from my bathroom mirror, she gets me moving.

Karina's Pen said...

This quote recently got me writing a lot more and just thinking differently about life:

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
-Anais Nin

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

this isn't really a quote but i'm going to tell you about it anyway...

when i was attending susan's workshop at artfest she said something that really struck me. she is really big into words and reclaiming them because so many of them have lost their real meaning over time and been watered down by translation. my whole body tingled when she talked about the word abracadabra. it is seen as a silly, childish word now but originally it meant something like as i speak it it will be...or something like that...i may have totally screwed that up. but basically its about the power of our words and our ability to create from what is spoken.

GreenishLady said...

Changed my life? Consolidated it, brought it together for a time: From Toni Morrison:

"She is the friend of my heart. She gather me, Man. The pieces I am, she gather them up and give them back to me, all in the right order."

I've written it over and over, made a patchwork of it. I love it.

Granny Smith said...

My favorite phrase - not even a sentence - is from something that my husband wrote. It has pointed the way I would wish to go in almost all circumstances. It is "the inestimable value of a human life".

maggiegracecreates said...

The quote from Eleanor Brown says

"Life is too short for you to be the caretaker of the wrong details."

I am a first time visitor. I followed the links from BOHO girls site. I blogged about this quote on Wed this week. Needed this one desperately.

I'll be back.

Dandelion seeds said...

a recent one that really resonates with me:
'you are never called by spirit to move backwards'-Ed Townley

Tori said...

Hi Megg,
I hope that all is well. I have been thinking of you.
Two of my favorites: "It's never to late to be what you might have been"- George Eliot.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow".-Mary Ann Radmacher.

Jessie said...

well, as you might already know...the quote that changed my life the most was eleanore roosevelt's "do one thing every day that scares you."

another favorite is albert camus' "live to the point of tears." sometimes life gets so deep that it feels too difficult or overwhelming, but then those words remind me that it is because of the deep amounts of love that i am lucky enough to feel and, in my book, love is always a good thing.

k2 said...

Two quotes that get me through my days...

"Never, ever, ever give up" (Winston Churchill)

"It's ok to be crazy; it's ok as long as you can put crazy back in the can." (my girlfriend)

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Here is my most recent addition to the quotes I collece: "He who is slave to chart and compass has the freedom of the seas."

Mandy de Waal said...

Absolutely adore Mary Oliver, she has in so many ways influence my life. Really enjoyed visiting your blog.

Anonymous said...

This is my all time favorite:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

Anicca said...

“Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.”

-The Stand, Stephen King

Jamie said...

I have many that I carry in books but these are the ones I carry in my head ~

The wind is a woman and she dances. Lorne Crozier.

All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde.

tone almhjell said...

I think Astrid Lindgren was a very wise lady:

On her imaginary reader:

I write for the child in me.

And here's a short conversation from The Brothers Lionheart:

Jonatan: You know I can't kill another man.
Orvar: Oh, Jonatan, if everone thought like you, Evil would have prevailed a long time ago.
Skorpan: If everyone thought like Jonatan there wouldn't be no evil.

And yet:

Skorpan: Why do you have to go away to do such dangerous things?
Jonatan: Because you see, sometimes you have to do things that are dangerous, because otherwise you're not a man, just a piece of dirt.

Caty said...

I don't remember where I saw this one:

"You can do everything fast,
only impossible things take a little more of time..."

I don't take it "literally" I don't like to be pushed and fast is not important to me really but I love the idea that we can attain "impossibles"