Friday, June 20, 2014

Words of Inspiration

Hartwig HKD/Flickr
As a writer, I am always admiring the words of others. Books. Poems. Song lyrics. Articles. But I am a sucker for a good quote.

The right quote can give you exactly what you need in a particular moment. You can find inspiration, a laugh, or just confirmation that you're not the only one who has ever felt the way you feel right now.

One of my favorite quotes is from an Emily Dickinson poem. I heard in a talk by a fellow Crohn's patient, and it was what I needed to hear that day:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers——
That perches in the soul——
And sings the tune without the words——
And never stops – at all——

Another favorite is from one of my father's favorite poems, "The Last Word of a Bluebird (as Told to a Child)" by Robert Frost. It gave my brothers and I much comfort after my father passed, and we read the poem at his memorial service.

But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for skunk tracks
In the snow with an axe -
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.

And, since I'm on a roll of inspirational quotes, one of the best is the Litany Against Fear from Dune by Frank Herbert.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Do you have a favorite quote?


Larynn Ford said...

Thanks Kerri. Sometimes we just need to stop and think.

Aidee Ladnier said...

My favorite Toni Morrison quote has been making the rounds lately:

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

Ali Hubbard said...

I love quotes from poems! They are such a comfort to me. And they do make you think and reflect.

My favorite poem is from Yeats, the Falling of the Leaves.
AUTUMN is over the long leaves that love us,
And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.
The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.

I'd name a child Rowan, and want to use that in a book at some point. :-)

For more practical quotes, I like my father's favorite (my hero actually says this too): When you work for yourself, your boss can be a real S.O.B.

Louisa Cornell said...

I have a couple that keep me going.

"Write your book because out there, somewhere, is someone who needs your words." ~ Maggie Worth

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” — Mahatma Gandhi

"Life is too short to be anything but HAPPY. Falling down is a part of life. Getting back up is Living." - Jose N. Harris

Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn't change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keep you busy doing nothing.

A lion never loses sleep over the opinions of sheep.

Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about.

"In your darkest hour you find your strength." Kristal Carter McCray (This one is very personal to me. Krystal was my 23 year old cousin who lost her fight with MS a few months ago.)

Cari Hislop said...

"Originality is not achieved by striving for it."
I've had this on my wall for nearly twenty years. I never noted where I got the quote, but I think it was Edgar Degas (the French artist best known for all his ballet dancers). When I first noted it, I would have connected the quote to the part of me that's a designer (where there is endless overt pressure to be "original"), but it's become a personal challenge to create the best stories or art that I can by following my heart and being myself.

I love all the other shared quotes! I totally agree with Louisa's Maggie Worth's quote. It's true!

And Louisa, thank you for sharing that lovely quote from your cousin. That is very profound and touching! She sounds like an amazing young woman. What a sad loss!