26 May 2012

Gerda Lerner

American women have also been denied their history, but this denial has not yet been widely recognized. History, in the past largely written by white male historians, has simply failed to ask those questions which would elicit information about the female contribution, the female point of view. Women as a group have been denied knowledge of their legitimate past and have been profoundly affected individually by having to see the world through male eyes.

Gerda Lerner, Black Women in White America: A Documentary History, p.xvii

14 May 2012

Vinoba Bhave

If India could find courage to reduce her army to the minimum, it would demonstrate to the world her moral strength. But we are cowards and cowards have no imagination.

Vinoba Bhave, quoted in Dave Dellinger, Revolutionary Nonviolence, p.298

08 May 2012

Agnes Iron

Each evening after supper, Agnes walked to the place where the Perdition River flowed into Lake Grand. She went alone, to think, she said, and to be silent. Always she returned, refreshed and clear-eyed, as if the place where two waters met was a juncture where fatigue yielded to comfort, where a woman renewed herself.

One night, from the porch, I watched her coming back through the first shade of night. She didn't see me as she came up the road. She was half a world away in the first evening dimness. She wore the fur coat wide open and she walked with something like a dance step, even in her heavy black shoes, turning a little this way and a little that. I still remember how strong and wide her thighs appeared that night, her awkward movement. She was singing, too. On her upturned face, she wore a look--half-rapture, half-pain. She was singing. I felt the song and I wanted to stay there and listen, but it was a private act, I knew. I didn't want to intrude upon Agnes' inner world, so I slipped indoors quietly, before she saw me, put water in the kettle and waited for it to heat. But all the time I smiled at her passion, her rocking movement, her bent knees.

She was still singing when she came in.

Linda Hogan, Solar Storms, p.44

"horses laugh at me"

I like the whole idea of horses, and the people who hack around the country's bridleways on them. In fact, there can be few more poetic sights on a winter morning than that of a couple of riders clopping along an Essex lane while the sun strobes down through the bare trees.

But the truth is that I'm only spiritually an equestrian. I've always meant to learn how to ride and it's to my eternal chagrin that I never have. Horses, you see, laugh at me. Whenever I've had any dealings with them it's almost like they know I'm a soft touch and that they can do whatever they want. I once had to help a woman walk two horses for a couple of miles through the lanes from one village to another. My horse kept leaning on me. The woman asked: "What's wrong?" I replied that the horse kept leaning on me. "Well lean back at him." she barked. I did. The horse leaned on me even harder, pushing me over. As I got up, I'll swear it was grinning at me. And ever since then, every horse that I ever meet, looks at me in a certain way. It's like my picture's been circulated around the county's stables and that I'm the subject of some well-known equine gag.

Martin Newell, "Buying A Winter Coat," in The Stars on a Tray, pp. 147-148