I adore quotations. I’m always lifting them from books, websites, or collections, to use on my email signature or at the beginning of a book, chapter, or blog post of my own. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as finding something said by someone brilliant that captures the essence of what I want to say. Sometimes a quote can inspire me to write in the first place: which comes first, the chicken or the egg? I don’t always know.
Profound and pithy bon mots by philosophers and celebrities have been preserved and can be found all over the place, ordinary people—a different 99% perhaps—have also been known to utter remarkable words. I’ve known some particularly brilliant people…or maybe everyone offers brilliant words; whatever the reason, I’ve got a lot of wisdom floating around in my head, words once imparted by people I’ve known.
I’ve gathered some of them here, and as more come back to me I’ll tack them on. This promises to be a list in constant progress, so watch this space! (Last Update: December 15, 2013)
“Ageism is the one oppression you get little glimpses of before it all comes crashing down on you.”—Sondra Sprinkling
“Don’t give up your privileges until you get your rights.”—Helen Kritzler, on feminism
“You can’t love anyone all the time.”—Gail Handleman
“There’s a sympathy of feeling between black men and white women that frequently gets expressed sexually.–Pat Jackson
“Everyone goes to the grave with their own secrets.”–Sylvia Hochheiser
What is fear of dying but fear of not living?–Joe Kahane
Seeing is not as Easy as it Appears.–Title of jewelry making workshop given by Joan Max Reinmuth. Workshop Motto: Stick to Indecision.
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.
—Robin Kramer, extraordinarily successful boutique shop owner in Woodstock, NY.
“The two best days of your life are the day you get a job and the day you leave it.”—Larry Block
Love and pasta will get you through war and recession.—Larry Block
“I can’t BE in a kitchen without cleaning it!”—Sondra Sprinkling
Any time you fuck with nature you’re gonna pay a price.–Jennifer Perl
“People don’t do to you, they do for themselves.”—Ricki Abramson
“Those of us that’s got a little bit of our shit together gotta help them that don’t, and without making a big deal about it.”
–Cyril Castor, some time in the ’60s. (When else??)
“Poetry is the transformative kiss by which history is released.” —Joan Max Reinmuth
Immediate response from Danny Myers, radical lawyer & friend, when I was fired from my secretarial job:
“What for?” he asked. “Insubordination?”
On literary success: “This is not a meritocracy.” —Sallie Tisdale, author of Talk Dirty To Me
The next generation’s going to have a really rough time of it.—Larry Block, circa 1990
“Comparisons are odious” —Billy Faier
“Every writer deserves an editor.”—Debi Sundahl, founder of On Our Backs
You can never close the door.—Christine Coatney (referring to everything.)
About ‘moving on’ after a breakup: “Yeah, sure, you move on—to the grave.”—JH (Tommy) Thompkins