Quote for Today: Virginia Woolf

 

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When, however, one reads of a witch being dunked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

Quote for Today: Jalina Mhyana

 

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The Wishing Bones

A thousand grandmothers ago
Pyrrha and Deucalion repopulated
the world with rocks, bones of mother Earth,
a generation of my ancestors strained
from the mud of a drowned planet.

But I’m more interested in my earliest
grandmothers, their gills and wetness,
before they crawled from that blue expanse
and learned to carry the sea within them,
in their cells, between their cells, in their eyes.

The buoyancy of ocean has never left us.
It hides in skin’s complex reservoir
where we’re selectively permeable
and our bodies exchange the smallest life.

If we had no need to distinguish ourselves
from others we’d be missing the skin
that defines lovers and enemies
and opens itself to both.

Jalina Mhyana, from Spikeseed

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Quote for Today: Ruta Sepetys

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“The shoes always tell the story,” said the shoe poet.

“Not always,” I countered.

“Yes, always. Your boots, they are expensive, well made. That tells me that you come from a wealthy family. But the style is one made for and older woman. That tells me they probably belong to your mother. A mother sacrificed her boots for her daughter. That tells me you are loved, my dear. And your mother is not here, so that tells me that you are sad, my dear. The shoes tell the story.”

Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

Image © Idhren with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Jonathan Franzen

And so–for the first time, it seemed–Pip had looked at her mother’s hands. The skin on the back of them wasn’t pink and opaque like her own skin. It was as if the bones and veins were working their way to the surface; as if the skin were water receding to expose shapes at the bottom of a harbor. Although her hair was thick and very long, there were dry-looking strands of gray in it, and the skin at the base of her throat was like a peach a day past ripe. That night, Pip lay awake in bed and worried that her mother might die soon. It was her first premonition of the granite block.
Jonathan Franzen, Purity

Quote for Today: Anna Quindlen

When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways we’re as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure.

Anna Quindlen

Quote for Today: Herman Hesse

Natural Falls State Park, Oklahoma © Katherine McDaniel

Through the Trees
Natural Falls State Park, Oklahoma
© Katherine McDaniel

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, the longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home.

Hermann HesseWandering

Quote for Today: William Golding

© Rrinsindika with CCLicense

© Rrinsindika with CCLicense

Now we, if not in the spirit, have been caught up to see our earth, our mother, Gaia Mater, set like a jewel in space. We have no excuse now for supposing her riches inexhaustible nor the area we have to live on limitless because unbounded. We are the children of that great blue white jewel. Through our mother we are part of the solar system and part through that of the whole universe. In the blazing poetry of the fact we are children of the stars.

William Golding, Nobel Prize Lecture, 1983

Quote for Today: Jane Glazer

© Bob Schrader with CCLicense

© Bob Schrader with CCLicense

Final Disposition

Others divided closets full of mother’s things.

From the earth, I took her poppies.

I wanted those fandango folds

of red and black chiffon she doted on,

loving the wild and Moorish music of them,

coating her tongue with the thin skin

of their crimson petals.

Snapping her fingers, flamenco dancer,

she’d mock the clack of castanets

in answer to their gypsy cadence.

She would crouch toward the flounce of flowers,

twirl, stamp her foot, then kick it out

as if to lift the ruffles, scarlet

along the hemline of her yard.

And so, I dug up, soil and all,

the thistle-toothed and gray-green clumps

of leaves, the testicle seedpods and hairy stems

both out of season, to transplant them in my less-exotic garden. There, they bloom

her blood’s abandon, year after year,

roots holding, their poppy heads nodding

a carefree, opium-ecstatic, possibly forever sleep.

Jane Glazer