Doris May Lessing (October 22, 1919 – November 17, 2013)
While the cruelties of the white man toward the black man are among the heaviest counts in the indictment against humanity, colour prejudice is not our original fault, but only one aspect of the atrophy of the imagination that prevents us from seeing ourselves in every creature that breathes under the sun.
Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992)
We all have to die at least once. Making that death useful would be winning for me. I wasn’t supposed to exist anyway, not in any meaningful way in this fucked-up whiteboys’ world. I want desperately to live, and I’m ready to fight for that living even if I die shortly. Just writing those words down snaps every thing I want to do into a neon clarity… For the first time I really feel that my writing has a substance and stature that will survive me.
Patrick White (May 28, 1912 – September 30, 1990)
What I do know for certain is that what is regarded as success in a rational materialistic society only impresses superficial minds. It amounts to nothing and will not help us rout the destructive forces threatening us today. What may be our salvation is the discovery of the identity hidden deep in any one of us, and which may be found in even the most desperate individual, if he cares to search the spiritual womb which contains the embryo of what can be one’s personal contribution to truth and life.
Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931)
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
We were poor and worked hard, but most people didn’t go hungry. We foraged in the forest, caught fish, kept cows and goats, and grew a few crops. We had enough to eat, provided the harvest was good. But we didn’t have money to spend, and we lived from one day to another. We had to work hard, but we had space and lived closely with trees, plants, animals and birds… and I think we understood their ways. I remember how happy I was as a child when I took our cow to bathe in the lake.
Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912)
Let me keep the intensity of my soul, with all the limitations of my conditions, rather than become the spineless and ideal-less creation of material needs.
Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)
We have been here before. We have been here over and over in an endless, Groundhog Day loop about how rape and sexual abuse happen: offering the same explanations, hearing the same kind of stories from wave after wave of survivors, hearing the same excuses and refusals to comprehend from people who are not so sure that women are endowed with inalienable rights and matter as much as men – or, categorically, have as much credibility.