In response to requests for a single place to find all of the 31 quotes we sent out with our story of the day for women's month 2022...
This is not an exhaustive list of women worth quoting. There is no such list... Women forge paths and articulate their remarkable discoveries every day, and will continue to do so until the end of time.
This happens to be my list on a particular set of 31 days in a very specific year. (Next year will inspire a whole new set of quotes... )
31 quotes for Women's Month 2022:
Because we think in a fragmentary way, we see fragments. And this way of seeing leads us to make actual fragments of the world...
~ Susan Griffin
When my mother passed, I inherited an iron cooking pot brought over on the Trail that belonged to her mother's mother.
Some of the most important stories are not in words, not in poems or other forms of speaking, but in objects of use and beauty. The cooking pot is one of the most potent stories I carry, made at the end of the century before last, one of many such pots used by Native people east of the Mississippi. The one that was passed through generations of women came to me from my mother.
It tells of survival, of the labors of women who cooked, cleaned, and uplifted everyone with stories and songs. The pot is sitting by my feet while I am writing. It was pressed with fury and fire. It was made of the same materials as weapons. It made soup and fed those who gathered around it to eat...
~ Joy Harjo
Every woman should have a blowtorch
~ Julia Child
"Birds don't make a plan to migrate, raising resources to fund their way, packing for scarce times, mapping out their pit stops. They feel a call in their bodies that they must go, and they follow it, responding to each other, each bringing their adaptations.
There is an art to flocking: staying separate enough not to crowd each other, aligned enough to maintain a shared direction, and cohesive enough to always move toward each other..."
~ adrienne maree brown
"... we’re all responsible. If we’re maintaining this system, we are all responsible for the inequities, and therefore, we are all responsible for solutions that are equitable. And it means we have to start at those places that we have created vulnerabilities in, and then go from there.
We have enough resources to help everybody.
This is about where you start...
This challenge requires us to recognize a power greater than ourselves and a life longer than the ones we will live. It requires us to believe in the things that we are privileged enough not to have to see..."
~ Colette Pichon Battle
"....I think the imagination is the single most useful tool humankind possesses. It beats the opposable thumb. I can imagine living without my thumbs, but not without my imagination...
All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don't, our lives get made up for us by other people...
The minds of animals are a great, sacred, present mystery. I do think animals have languages, but they are entirely truthful languages. It seems that we are the only animals who can lie. We can think and say what is not so and never was so, or what has never been, yet might be. We can invent; we can suppose, we can imagine... "
~ Ursula. K. Le Guin
"... to change the world, we women first have to change ourselves - and then we need to change the stories we tell about who we are...
We have our own guiding stories, and they are deeply rooted in the heart of our own native landscapes. We draw them out of the wells and the waters; beachcombing, we lift them out of the sand. We dive for them to the bottom of deep lakes, we disinter them from the bogs, we follow their tracks through the shadowy glades of the enchanted forest....
If women remember that once upon a time we sang with the tongues of seals and flew with the wings of swans, that we forged our own paths through the dark forest while creating a community of its many inhabitants, then we will rise up rooted, like trees. And if we rise up rooted, like trees... well then, women might indeed save not only ourselves, but the world..."
~ Sharon Blackie
"All ingredients need salt. The noodle or tender spring pea would be narcissistic to imagine it already contained within its cell walls all the perfection it would ever need. We seem too, to fear that we are failures at being tender and springy if we need to be seasoned.
It's not so: it doesn't reflect badly on pea or person that either needs help to be most itself."
~ Tamar Adler
"...human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us is itself a marvelous victory. "
~ Dr. Howard Zinn, inspired by the life & spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer
"...I set out to doubt everything I had been taught, but I did not try to rebuild my knowledge in a structure of logic and argument. I tried to learn, not from reason but from my senses...
But as soon as I began to study my perception, to look at my own experience, I found there were two different ways of perceiving and that the different ways provided me with different facts.
There was a narrow focus which meant seeing life as if from blinkers and with the center of awareness in my head; and there was a wide focus which meant knowing with the whole of my body, a way of looking which quite altered my perception of whatever I saw.
And I found that the narrow focus way was the way of reason.... but it was the wide focus way that made me happy... "
~ Marion Milner
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."~ Marie Curie
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
~ Jane Goodall
"Practice is not for something else. Practice is the practice of being here with your life."
~ Natalie Goldberg
"...the premium you place on your own health and sanity should be nonegotiable..."
~ Sarah Susanka
"For most of us, for almost all of us, truth can be attained, if at all, only in silence. It is in silence that the human spirit touches the divine."
~ Iris Murdoch
"All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm's way...
For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed...
If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn't start with race; I wouldn't start with blackness; I wouldn't start with gender; I wouldn't start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I'm a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love..."
~ bell hooks
"How little do I need to have everything..."
~ Ellen Meloy
"You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life."
~ Mary Oliver, Upstream: selected essays
"Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life.
When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole...
When we help we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness. When I help I am very aware of my own strength.
But we don't serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our darkness can serve. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness of life... "
~ Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen
"I used to think I had to wait to be an adult to lead. But I've learned that even a child's voice can be heard around the world.”
~ Malala Yousafzai
"How we eat can change the world.”
~ Alice Waters
"All human energy is breath. The body houses you and breath powers you. It's the first act you perform and it is the last.
Every inhalation takes in energy from the world and attaches you to it. On exhalation, you send what is inside you out into the world, and in so doing you touch and change the world..."
~ Patsy Rodenburg
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
~ Maya Angelou
"Our journey through life is one of peril and possibility - and sometimes both at once. How can we stand on the threshold between suffering and freedom and remain informed by both worlds? ...I believe that excluding any part of the larger landscape of our lives reduces the territory of our understanding... it's harder to fear what one more clearly sees..."
~ Joan Halifax
"Here's a question for you: Have you ever asked an auditorium full of kids if they know and love Charlotte's Web? In my experience, almost all of the hands go up. And if you ask them how many of them cried when they read it, most of those hands unabashedly stay aloft...
I have tried for a long time to figure out how E.B. White [Charlotte's Web] did what he did, how he told the truth and made it bearable... the only answer I could come up with was love. E.B. White loved the world. And in loving the world, he told the truth about it - its sorrow, its heartbreak, its devastating beauty. He trusted his readers enough to tell them the truth, and with that truth came comfort and a feeling that we were not alone.
I think our job is to trust our readers.
I think our job is to see and to let ourselves be seen.
I think our job is to love the world. "
~ Kate DiCamillo
To consider the tree in the Kleenex, the algae in the toothpaste, the oaks in the floor, the grapes in the wine; to follow back the thread of life in everything and pay it respect...
...I can muster no reflective moment for plastic. It is so far removed from the natural world. I wonder if that's a place where the disconnection began, the loss of respect, when we could no longer easily see the life within the object..."
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer
"The only way to change is to say yes to something else...
...the art of continual curiosity... When we embrace inquiry as a value, recognition of an obstacle or failure of an idea is greeted as success. We know that each new piece of information we receive reveals the next level of mastery. Because curiosity drives us forward, we ultimately have a practice of conscious kindness to ourselves...
~ Cathy Madden
"... on finding wisdom... In the books, it sounds lofty. In reality, it is messy. Testing things, suffering, getting better, healing, celebrating and soaring, crashing again... That's what you are working on, and how - at the same time - to be an articulate and generous artist and teacher, and so, to be of some (profound) use to the world...
... resist the impulse to tell complete stories. Keep it unfinished, continuing, unresolved... be open to inventing and reinventing every second..."
~ Robyn Hunt
It’s easy to celebrate the publications, the performances, the exhibitions, compositions, recognitions and awards. All of the achievements that form into important lines on a professional resume...
But what is also to be acknowledged are all the attempts that never find their way to this self-proclaimed piece of paper we’ve come to value as our calling card of worth to the world: countless hours spent in pursuit of your vision, researching, writing, creating a practice that creates myelin and muscle memory; time spent pushing away doubt and feelings of ineptitude; all the added up minutes spent pondering that gap between where you are and where you wish to be, who you are and who you know you can be… wanting to know in some unassailable way that your art makes a difference, that you matter.
There are many tender moments in life that get tucked away into corners, shoved into closets and into boxes because they feel like failures. Yet I would suggest there is no such thing as a failure because these difficult moments have a rugged beauty and place in our lives. They provide contrast that leads us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, of our art, of the world we live in. They shape us as surely as each achievement."
~ Fia Skye
(insert your voice here... )