Posts Tagged ‘Quotes’

The Magic of Written Words

Written words meaningful to me often find their way even into my sketchbook. — Art by Pat Bean

Aging My Way

In the 1980s, I became a big fan of Dorothy Gilman’s books and many of the words spoken by her unlikely heroine Mrs. Pollifax, ended up in my journals. Her telling someone that we can’t live our lives the way we set a table especially spoke to me, because that was exactly how I was trying to live my life at that time.

While knives and forks may be arranged in perfect order, I was learning that it would be a cold day in hell before my life would work like that. Mrs. Pollifax helped me accept this, and was also a rung for me to hang on to as I passed through a messy season full of challenges, love, heartbreak, and almost too many changes to count.

While my life is more peaceful and calm these days, I still treasure the written word. Perhaps it is because I, too, am a writer. Whatever, I just know I’m thankful for the inspiration and enlightenment printed words have given me.

It seems as if for every emotion, every passage (Gail Sheehy’s Passages. 1976) I pass through, some writer had the same thoughts, the same emotions. Their words let me know I’m not alone. Which is why my journals are full of quotes that were meaningful to me.

The first quote I remember striking my fancy happened in high school when the class was studying Shakespeare. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Those words mean even more to me today than when I first wrote them down.

I’ve learned that certain writers touch my inner thoughts time and time again. Dorothy Gilman, John MacDonald, Robert Frost, Louise Penny, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Sandburg, Gloria Steinem, Mercedes Lackey, Edward Abby, John Irving, Rod McKuen, Jan Morris, even Hunter Thompson in my crazy moments. And so many, many more.

Once, during a period of insecurity, I came upon the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay that cheered me onward. “Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand. Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand,” she wrote. I didn’t read these words in a book by Millay, but rather in a biography of Margaret Mead, who had also found meaning in the quote.

Meanwhile, the words of Rod McKuen were, and still are, one of my favorite quotes. “Nobody’s perfect, and that’s one of the best things that can be said about man.”   

 Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is an avid reader, the author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), is always searching for life’s silver lining, and these days aging her way – and that’s usually not gracefully.

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Painting from a photo I took on the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful. — Taylor Swift

Or Disagree with

I came across this quote by Rita Mae Brown — “A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all” – while drinking my cream-laced coffee this morning. My instant reaction was to disagree with Rita Mae.

Deadlines, which I had almost daily as a newspaper journalist for 37 years, are my best, and most favorite, writing inspiration. They mean I have a writing job. I also think I do my best work when scrambling to meet a deadline.

I collect quotes. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t write one down in my journals. I want to remember the best of them because their words inspire me, make me laugh, or speak one of my own truths to me in better words than I’ve yet thought out.

But as this old broad gets wiser, I’ve come to question whether some of the more popular quotes are actually true, especially ones that indicate animals have no feelings or reasoning. How do we know the lark is happy, or the owl wise?

The years have taught me that I can’t believe – or agree with – everything I read. It’s a skill that I treasure in the age of the Internet, where anyone can say anything and everything they want, which is not a bad thing unless what they say is malicious.

Meanwhile, the beauty of Rita Mae’s quote is that a deadline isn’t everybody’s favorite thing, and it truly is a negative inspiration for them. In this, as in most things in life, how one looks at deadlines is neither right nor wrong, simply different.

Taylor Swift says it perfectly.

Bean Pat: Baltimore orioles

https://belindagroverphotography.com/2018/11/28/baltimore-oriole-two-photographs-2/?wref=pil  To brighten your winter day. I write about seeing my first Baltimore oriole in Travels with Maggie.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon and would make the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who likes to travel. Bean is currently writing a second book, which she is calling Bird Droppings, and which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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