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I N S P I R I N G * Q U O T E S

WOMEN OF WISDOM

LOSS AND DISASTER

On July 10, 2005, Hurricane Dennis – “the forgotten storm” – hit land at Pensacola in Florida’s panhandle. Few suspected that it would create havoc 200 miles to the east, but that was precisely what this “lesser” storm did. As far east as the town of St. Marks, cradled in nook of Big Bend country, scores of homes and businesses were lost. Small communities--Carabelle and Alligator Point, Ochlocknee Bay, Shell Point, where house after house was flooded and ruined. Not since 1928 had water ever come so high on our little island, which is connected to the mainland by a 30 foot land bridge. The lower level of our split level home was destroyed; all that remained was our bedroom and bathroom, upstairs, which is where we rode out the storm. It is miraculous that there were no deaths, no major injuries, not even a pet was lost all up and down the coast–although our 16 year old kitty almost drowned.

Most of our worldly goods were destroyed, including our extensive library of books and videos, family photos and memorabilia, scrapbooks, many artworks. We were dazed for days, rummaging through the stinking ruins in the impossible heat, trying to salvage what we could. from the muck of mud, garbage, broken septic tanks, seaweed, and dead fish. We slept in our bedroom for a couple of days, but, as we’d lost electricity, it was impossible to stay–no water, no air conditioning. We stayed in a motel in Tallahassee one night, an hour’s drive from home; at a friend’s in Tallahassee another. A neighbor, whose house, a second home, had escaped Dennis’s wrath, offered it to us as a temporary haven. As soon as she got her electricity back, we “moved” in–our meager belongings and clothes piled on top of counters and dressers that were full of her family’s belongings. We camped out there for several weeks until we found a nearby place to rent. We borrowed furniture, made the necessary purchases to establish a functioning kitchen, and proceeded to deal with insurance claims for our car, house and boat, getting rental assistance from FEMA, and figuring out plans for rebuilding our home.

Eight months later there is still no construction going on. We have come up against one road block after another. Just when I think I’m dealing well with everything, I’ll find myself tearing up over our losses and difficulties. Then I chastise myself: it doesn’t compare to the devastation experienced by those felled by Katrina and Wilma, the January ‘05 tsunami, or the Pakistan/India earthquake. (Mother Nature, it seems, has been particularly wild and destructive this past year.) Then I remedy my thinking: just because ‘our’ storm has been forgotten by the rest of the world doesn’t mean I wasn’t impacted by the loss I suffered.

As a way of finding solace, I look to my foremothers and sisters, whose ability to concisely describe a world of troubles keeps me from feeling alone in my troubles. Thus I submit to you, dear readers, a collection of quotations on Loss & Disaster. None of us escapes disastrous loss, but I pray for you it will never be through a natural disaster.

Elaine Bernstein Partnow, Editor


QUOTATIONS ON LOSS AND DISASTER

They lose least who have least to lose.
Rose O'Neill (1874-1944) America writer, poet, illustrator; created the Kewpie doll, 1909. from Garda, 1929

In loss itself
I find assuagement:
having lost the treasure,
I've nothing to fear.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695), Mexican poet, scholar, nun, feminist; first important literary figure of the New World; found at www.sappho.com/poetry/index.shtml, Lesbian Poetry, 21 January 1996

But listen, my husband. If one day when you are not looking, a man comes and takes your farmhouse or your kraal*, and he begins doing all the things a good man should not do; sells all the yams in your barns without leaving any for planting; boils your eggs as soon as they have been laid and does not spare one for a single hen to hatch; gives great feasts to all his family and all his friends, with your lambs and calves; and generally carries on in such a way that your heart hurts as though it is falling into your bowels every time you look on; and yet you are not able to do anything for many many years, but then one day, thanks to Allah, you get your farmhouse or your kraal back, what then do you do, my husband?
Ama Ata Aidoo (1942- ), Ghanian/Zimbabwean poet, playwright, scholar, educator. "For Whom Things Did Not Change," No Sweetness Here & Other Stories, 1970

PERRY. There is a moment, like the black holes in space, of complete and irrevocable loss. To allow that moment is to let go of the sides of times, to fall into another place where it is not likely any of your old friends will recognize you again.
Susan Miller (1944- ), American playwright; Obie, 1979; NEA, 1976, 1983; Rockefeller, 1975. From Cross Country, 1976

In this moment she felt that she had been robbed of an enormous number of valuable things, whether material or intangible: things lost or broken by her own fault, things she had forgotten and left in houses when she moved: books borrowed from her and not returned, journeys she had planned and had not made, words she had waited to hear spoken to her and had not heard, and the words she meant to answer with. . . .
Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980), American writer; Pulitzer, 1966. "Theft," Flowering Judas and Other Stories, 1930

. . . all that she had had, and all that she had missed, were lost together, and were twice lost in this landslide of remembered losses.
Ibid.

This is a bond nothing can ever loosen.
What I have lost: what I possess forever.
Rachel (1890-1931) Russian/Israeli poet. "My Dead," Poems from the Hebrew, Robert Mezey, ed. 1973

When we think of loss we think of the loss, through death, of people we love. But loss is a far more encompassing theme in our life. For we lose not only through death, but also by leaving and being left, by changing and letting go and moving on. And our losses include not only our separations and departures from those we love, but our conscious and unconscious losses of romantic dreams, impossible expectations, illusions of freedom and power, illusions of safety -- and the loss of our own younger self, the self that thought it would always be unwrinkled and invulnerable and immortal.
Judith Viorst (1931- ), American journalist, writer, poet; née Stahl; Emmy, 1970. Necessary Losses, 1986

The pain of loss, moreover, however agonizing, however haunting in memory, quiets imperceptibly into acceptance as the currents of active living and of fresh emotions flow over it.
Elizabeth Drew (1887-1965), English/American critic, literary, writer. Pt. II, Ch. 9, Poetry: A Modern Guide to Its Understanding and Enjoyment, 1959

If you've lost a gorgeous orange, no number of delicious apples can replace its glow and sweetness.
Sandra Gilbert (1936- ), American educator, poet, writer. Wrongful Death: A Medical Tragedy, 1995

How can I no longer bear my weary doom?
Alas! what have I gain'd for all I lost?
Maria Brooks (1795-1845), American poet. Canto Third, "Palace of Gnomes," CIX, St. 4, Zóphiël; or the Bride of Seven, 1825

The worst has happened. . .it's rather liberating.
Ruth Rendell (1930- ), English writer; a.k.a. Barbara Vine. The Crocodile Bird, 1993

In the absence of a natural disaster we are left again to our own uneasy devices.
Joan Didion (1935- ), American scenarist, journalist, writer; w. John Gregory Dunne (writer). "A Problem of Making Connections," Life (New York), 5 December 1969

"Look here," I said, "people like to collect disasters."
Agatha Christie (1891-1975), English novelist, playwright; mystery writer outsold only by Shakespeare & Bible; Endless Night, 1967

When a man confronts catastrophe on the road, he looks in his purse -- but a woman looks in her mirror.
Margaret Turnbull (fl. 1920s-1942), Scottish/American playwright, scenarist, writer. The Left Lady, 1926


My mind shrank from the menace sweeping down on us, as children's do from belief in death and misfortune, vainly clinging to the fancy that great disasters only happen to other people.
Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), English suffragist, social reformer, editor, historian, newspaper publisher; daughter of Emmeline P-, sister of Christabel and Adela P- (all suffragists); Ch. 1, The Home Front, 1932

I think my biggest achievement is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane. I'm proud of that.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, 1929-1994, American editor, photographer, First Lady. Remark (1979), "Portrait of a Friendship" by John Russell, Time (New York), 30 May 1994

"Why must you always try to be omnipotent, and shove things about? Tragic things happen sometimes that we just have to submit to."
Rebecca West (1892-1983), Irish/English suffragist, literary critic, novelist, and journalist; she was the companion of, and parent with, H. G. Wells (1866-1946, writer) and companion of Anthony W- (author, critic); awarded the Crown of the British Empire, 1959. Ch. 2, The Salt of the Earth, 1935

Perhaps catastrophe is the natural human environment, and even though we spend a good deal of energy trying to get away from it, we are programmed for survival amid catastrophe.
Germaine Greer (1939- ), Australian writer, feminist, educator. Ch. 14, Sex and Destiny, 1984

"Life is atrocious, we know. But precisely because I expect little of the human condition, man's periods of felicity, his partial progress, his efforts to begin over again and continue, all seem to me like so many prodigies which nearly compensate for the monstrous mass of ills and defeats, of indifference and error. Catastrophe and ruin will come; disorder will triumph, but order will too, from time to time."
Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), Belgian/American essayist, writer; née M- de Crayencour; companion of Grace Frick (translator); first woman to be elected to the French Academy, 1980; Grand Prix national des Lettres, Grand Prix de la Litterature de l'Académie Française. Memoirs of Hadrian, 1954

The notion that one will not survive a particular catastrophe is, in general terms, a comfort since it is equivalent to abolishing the catastrophe.
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999), Irish novelist; w. John Bayley (poet, lecturer). Pt. 6, The Message to the Planet, 1989

We call it "Nature"; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be "Nature" too.
Denise Levertov (1923-1997), English/American poet, translator, educator, editor; w. Mitchell Goodman (American writer); Guggenheim. "Sojourns in the Parallel World," Sands of the Well, 1996

Nature is so strong here [Taos, New Mexico] that one has to be on one's guard not to be absorbed by it.
Mabel Dodge (1878-1962), American arts patron, writer; née Ganson, mn. Luhan. Quoted in "The Passions of Mabel Dodge" by Rusty Brown, Ms. (New York), March 1984

. . . in nature nothing creates itself and nothing destroys itself.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Italian physician, educator, writer; originator of Montessori Method of education; first Italian woman to receive M.D. from University of Rome. Secret of Childhood, 1939

The good news may be that Nature is phasing out the white man, but the bad news is that's who She thinks we all are.
Alice Walker (1944- ), American writer, poet, teacher civil rights activist. In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose, 1983

"And yet," plied [sic] my friend, "nature has not changed. The night is still unsullied, the stars still twinkle, and the wild thyme smells as sweetly now as it did then. . . . We may be afflicted and unhappy, but no one can take from us the sweet delight which is nature's gift to those who love her and her poetry."
George Sand (1804-1876), French writer. La Petite Fadette, 1848

The whole secret of the study of nature lies in learning how to use one's eyes.
Op. Cit., Nouvelles Lettres d'un Voyageur, 1869

There is something in the decay of nature that awakens thought, even in the most trifling mind.
Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), American writer, editor, poet; first woman magazine editor in U.S.; established Thanksgiving as national holiday; established Mount Vernon as national shrine. Sketches of American Character, 1829

CELINE. It's not only that you are killing grass and trees. . . . You are killing LIFE.
Christiane Rochefort (1917- ), French filmmaker, writer, scenarist. Les Stances Sophie, 1970

If I have learned nothing else in all these months in the woods, I have thoroughly learned to keep hands off the processes of nature.
Laura Lee Davidson (1870-1949), American educator, nature writer. A Winter of Content, 1922

So, in the physical world mankind are prone to seek an explanation of uncommon phenomena only, while the ordinary changes of nature, which are in themselves equally wonderful, are disregarded.
Almira Lincoln Phelps (1793-1884), American poet, educator, author, botanist; née Hart; s. Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870; American author, poet, educator, feminist; founded Troy Female Seminary, 1821 [later Emma Willard School, 1895]; Hall of Fame, 1905). "An Infant's First Ideas," The Mother's Journal, 1838

All of nature talks to me. If I could just make out what it was trying to tell me. Listen!
Trees are swinging in the breeze. They're talking to me.
Insects are rubbing their legs together.
They're all talking They're talking to me. And short animals --
They're bucking up on their hind legs. Talking. Talking to me.
Laurie Anderson (1947- ), American composer, songwriter, performance artist; NEA, 1977, 1979; Guggenheim, 1983. "Sharkey's Way", St. 3, Spectral Display, 1984

What is pretty in nature is confined to the thin skin of the globe upon which we huddle. Scratch that skin, and nature's daemonic ugliness will erupt.
Camille Paglia (1947- ), American educator, nonfiction writer, social critic. Sexual Personae, 1990

There are no accidents, only nature throwing her weight around. Even the bomb merely releases energy that nature has put there. Nuclear war would be just a spark in the grandeur of space. Nor can radiation "alter" nature: she will absorb it all. After the bomb, nature will pick up the cards we have spilled, shuffle them, and begin her game again.
Ibid.

[I have] a heavenly vase full of autumn leaves today. They looks so beautiful. How much closer to God can one get? And a beautiful blue heron flew over the brook. Nature can make me cry faster than anything.
Lotta Lenya (1898-1981), Austrian-American singer-actor; Tony, 1956; wife of German-born American composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), Quoted in Lenya, a Life by Donald Spoto, 1989

It is easy to replace man, and it will take no great time, when Nature has lapsed, to replace Nature.
Alice Christiana Meynell (1845/47-1922), English poet, literary critic,"The Poet to the Birds", Essays, 1914

Nature provides exceptions to every rule.
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), American journalist, translator, social critic, editor, feminist, educator. "The Great Lawsuit. Man Versus Men. Woman Versus Women," The Dial, July

When you've cooked the marrow of the sun and moon,
The pearl is so bright you don't worry about poverty.
Sun Bu-er (?-1124), Chinese Taoist sage. "Projecting the Spirit," Thomas Cleary, tr., Wise Women: Over 2000 Years of Spiritual Writing by Women, Susan Cahill, ed., 1996.

I am Nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. My nod governs the shining heights of Heaven, the wholesome sea-breezes, the lamentable silences of the world below. Though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names, and propitiated with all manner of different rites, yet the whole round earth venerates me.
Isis (fl. Ca. 3200 B.C.E.) , Egyptian goddess, queen. "The Goddess Isis Intervenes," The Golden Ass by Apuleius, Robert Graves, tr., 1978

Some of us still get all weepy when we think about the Gaia Hypothesis, the idea that earth is a big furry goddess-creature who resembles everybody's mom in that she knows what's best for us. But if you look at the historical record -- Krakatoa, Mt. Vesuvius, Hurricane Charley, poison ivy, and so forth down the ages -- you have to ask yourself: Whose side is she on, anyway?
Barbara Ehrenreich (1941 ), American columnist, author; Guggenheim, 1987; The Worst Years of Our Lives, 1991

The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy when it was assumed that Nature existed for the convenience of man.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964), American environmentalist, marine biologist, nonfiction writer, scientist; NBA, 1952; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1980. Ch. 17, Silent Spring, 1962.

Nature lies, disheveled, pale,
With her feverish lips apart,-
Day by day the pulses fail,
Nearer to her bounding heart.
Elaine Goodale (1863-1953), American poet; w. Eastman; s. Dora Read G- (1866-1915; poet), "Goldenrod", n.d.

I do not own an inch of land,
But all I see is mine.
Lucy Larcom (1926-1893), American editor, poet, mill worker. "A Strip of Blue," Poetical Works of Lucy Larcom, 1885

The fears of what may come to pass,
I cast them all away,
Among the clover scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay.
Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), American/English writer, poet. "A Song from Sylvan," St. 2, n.d.

To us, from the beginning, Nature has been but a poor plastic thing, to be toyed with this way or that, as man happens to please his deity or not; to go to church or not; to say his prayers right or not; to travel on a Sunday or not.Was it possible for us in an instant to see Nature as she is--the flowing vestment of an unchanging reality?
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), So. African social critic, writer, feminist; pseud. Ralph Iron. Pt. 2, Ch. 1, The Story of an African Farm, 1883

Butterflies and birds fly over me unconcerned . . .
The forest accepts me.
Grace Seton-Thompson (1872-1959), American feminist, writer, poet, lecturer, designer. "Forest," St. 4, The Singing Traveler, 1947

This notion that man can, and should, have absolute dominion over the "chaotic" powers of nature and woman…is what ultimately lies behind man's famous "conquest of nature" -- a conquest that is today puncturing holes in the earth's ozone layer, destroying our forests, polluting our air and water, and increasingly threatening the welfare, and even survival, of thousands of living species, including our own.
Riane Eisler (1931- ), Austrian/Cuban/American author, social historian; founder, Center for Partnership Studies, International Partnership Network Ch. 15, "Sex, Lies, and Stereotypes: Changing Views of Nature, the Body, and Truth," Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body, 1995

For as long as human beings are forced to live in a system that at every turn impedes the fulfillment of their basic human needs -- not only for love but for creative and spiritual expression -- they will try to compensate for this in other ways, including the compulsive acquisition of ever more material goods.
Ibid., Ch. 17, "Sex, Power, and Choice: Redefining Politics and Economics"

Life altered the atmosphere and gentled the sunlight. It turned the naked rocks of the continents into friable soil and clothed them with a richly variegated mantle of green which captured the energy of our own star for the use of living things on earth, and it softened the force of the winds. In the seas life built great reefs that broke the impact of storm-driven waves. It sifted and piled up shining beaches along the shores. Working with amazing strength and endurance life transformed an ugly and barren landscape into a benign and beautiful place.
Louise Young (1919- ), American science writer; w. Hobart P. Y- (business executive). The Unfinished Universe, 1986

The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.
Doreen Valiente (1922-1999), English witch, author; leader of wiccan and pagan movements in Britain. "The Witches' Creed," St. 3, in "Liber Umbrarum -- A Book of Shadows," Witchcraft for Tomorrow, 1978

We know ourselves to be made from this earth. We know this earth is made from our bodies. For we see ourselves. And we are nature. We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature. Nature weeping. Nature speaking of nature to nature.
Susan Griffin (1943- ), American poet, educator, writer; NEA, 1976; Malvina Reynolds Award for Cultural Achievement, 1982. Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, p. 226, 1980

Nature is neither reasonable nor just. Nature is exact.
Beah Richards (1925/28?- ), American civil rights activist, playwright, actor, poet; Emmy (2, 1988), Tony (1965); Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1974. Preface, A Black Woman Speaks and Other Poems, 1974

Nature was taking back what had once been hers.
Nevada Barr (1952- ), American writer, park ranger, novelist, performer; Liberty Falling, 1999

Never have nights been more beautiful than these nights of anxiety. In the sky have been shining in trinity the moon, Venus and Mars. Nature has been more splendid than man.
Janet Flanner (1892-1978), American lecturer, war correspondent, journalist; pseud. Gent; NBA, 1966. "Letter from Paris," The New Yorker, 7 December 1940

Nature, they call you a mother; they ought to call you a cruel stepmother.
Emilia Pardo Bazan (1852-1921), Spanish novelist, feminist, educator, stateswoman. La madre naturaleza (Mother Nature), 1887.

We have become frighteningly effective at altering nature.
Sylvia A. Earle (1935- ), American nonfiction writer, marine biologist, explorer, environmental activist; a.k.a. Her Deepness; Conservation Service Award, US Dept. of Interior, 1970. Quoted in "Call of the Sea" by Roger Rosenblatt, Time (New York), 5 October 1998.

"Nature can seem cruel, but she balances her books."
Alison Lurie (1926- ), American writer, author; Pulitzer, 1985. The Last Resort, 1998

. . . I used to think that communing with nature was a healing, positive thing. Now, I think I'd like to commune with other things--like room service and temperature control.
Roseanne Barr (1953- ), American actor, comedian. My Life as a Woman, 1989

O Lord, from my soul I bless Thee for making me again remember the wormwood and the gall I had met with from all my worldly enjoyments, to which I had too much let out my heart, and from which I did foolishly expect too much
Mary of Warwick (1624-1678), Irish society leader; née Mary Boyle, a.k.a. Mary Rich. Diary (December 2, 1672), Quoted in Leading Women of the Restoration by Grace Johnstone, 1891.

Whatever the country, capitalist or socialist, man was everywhere crushed by technology, made a stranger to his own work, imprisoned, forced into stupidity. The evil all arose from the fact that he had increased his needs rather than limited them; . . . As long as fresh needs continued to be created, so new frustrations would come into being. When had the decline begun? The day knowledge was preferred to wisdom and mere usefulness to beauty. . . . Only a moral revolution -- not a social or political revolution -- only a moral revolution would lead man back to his lost truth.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French feminist, philosopher, writer; lover of Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980; philosopher, playwright); won the Prix Goncourt, 1954. Ch. 3, Les Belles Images,1966

These ways to make people buy were strange and new to us, and many bought for the sheer pleasure at first of holding in the hand and talking of something new. And once this was done, it was like opium, we could no longer do without this new bauble, and thus, though we hated the foreigners and though we knew they were ruining us, we bought their goods. Thus I learned the art of the foreigners, the art of creating in the human heart restlessness, disquiet, hunger for new things, and these new desires became their best helpers.
Han Suyin (1917- ), Chinese physician, writer, researcher; a.k.a. Elizabeth Comber. Pt. I, Ch. 15, The Crippled Tree, 1965

Save the rainforest in case valuable medicinal plants lie undiscovered there. Preserve wilderness as part of our "national heritage." Conserve resources for future generations. This is the rhetoric of property and progeny: the two things that matter most to a privileged few.
Linda Susan Vance (1949- ), American environmental activist. "Ecofeminism and the Politics of Reality," Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, Greta Gaard, ed., 1993

[The] whirlwind fife-and-drum of the storm
bends the salt
marsh grass, disturbs stars in the sky and
the star on the steeple; it is a privilege to
see so much confusion.
Marianne Moore (1887-1972), American poet, editor, literary; NBA, 1952; Pulitzer, 1952. "The Steeple-Jack," Collected Poems, 1951

Choose a hill country for storms. There all the business of the weather is carried on above your horizon and loses its terror in familiarity. When you come to think about it, the disastrous storms are on the levels, sea or sand or plains. There you get only a hint of what is about to happen, the fume of the gods rising from their meeting place under the rim of the world; and when it breaks upon you there is no stay nor shelter. The terrible mewings and mouthings of a Kansas wind have the added terror of viewlessness. You are lapped in them like uprooted grass; suspect them of a personal grudge. But the storms of hill countries have other business.
Mary Hunter Austin (1868-1934), American suffragist, lecturer, writer. The Land of Little Rain, 1903

"And the storm went on. It roared, it bellowed, and it screeched: it thumped and it kerwhalloped. The great seas would come bunt agin the rocks, as if they were bound to go right though to Jersey City, which they used to say was the end of the world."
Laura Howe Richards (1850-1943), American writer; d. Julia Ward H- (1890-1910; founder, Mother's Day [orig. 2 June 1872], as a peace day; founder, Girl Scouts of America); Pulitzer, 1917. Ch. 2, Captain Journey, 1890

Swift fleet the billowy clouds along the sky,
Earth seems to shudder at the storm aghast;
While only beings as forlorn as I,
Court the chill horrors of the howling blast.
Charlotte Smith (1749-1806), English novelist, translator, poet; née Turner, d. Catherine Dorset (poet). "Montalbert," Elegiac Sonnets and Other Essays, 1782

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.
Amelia Barr (1831-1919), English/American novelist. Ch. 5, Jan Vedder's Wife, 1885

The elements were "seeking" each other in rage and confusion, and in the fury of the conflict boastful man was utterly humiliated, sucked down, drowned.
Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984), English/American writer. Bk. II, Pt. III, Ch. 2, Green Dolphin Street, 1944

Is the sea drying up? It is going up into mist and coming down on us in this water spout, the rain. It raineth every day, and the weather represents our tearful despair on a large scale.
Mary Bokin Chesnut (1823-1886), American diarist. (March 5, 1865), Diary from Dixie, 1949

A procession of indigo clouds marched in, while thunder boomed like temple drums. Then the breeze drew a gauzy curtain of mist across the ravine. Within minutes the rain was falling in giant gobs.
Thalia Zepatos (1955- ), American travel writer, political activist. "Galleries and gamelans," The Women's Review of Books, Vol. XII, Nos. 10-11, July 1995

Land of low clouds, I belong to you.
I carry in my heart your every drop of rain.
Lea Goldberg (1911-1970), Lithuanian/Israeli poet. "Song of the Strange Woman," Pt. III, St. 1, Poems from the Hebrew, Robert Mezey, ed., 1973

I'm singing in the rain,
Just singing in the rain.
What a glorious feeling,
I'm happy again.
Betty Comden (1919- ), American screenwriter, playwright, lyricist; née Elizabeth Cohen; Tony (5); Grammy, 1992; Obie, 1959. “Singin' in the Rain,” Singin' in the Rain, with Adolph Green, 1952

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Elaine Bernstein Partnow is the editor of "Women of Wisdom," and she is a perfect fit for this task. Compiler of the noted work The Quotable Woman, The First 5,000 Years, Elaine started working on the first edition, way back in 1974 when she was making the transition from actor to writer. Now in its 5th edition. The Quotable Woman has become the standard book of quotations for women's studies programs and organizations all over the English-speaking world. She also wrote The Female Dramatist a few years back, and has recently come out with a new collection, The Quotable Jewish Woman, Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor from the Mind and Heart. Elaine has marveled at how her work in women's history has changed who she is and how she is. Ever eager to share that experience with others, she merged her two passions - acting and women's studies - and began, in 1984, to present living history portraits of notable women to civic and educational institutions. To date she has given more than 400 such presentations to upwards of 50,000 people, not only across the U.S.A., but in Mexico and even China! You can find out more about Elaine by visiting her web site: www.TheQuotableWoman.com.


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