Quirky quote: Saunter, don’t hike

Kogelberg biosphere reserve (Nadia Krige/Gypsified)

“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”

– John Muir

(Just a note: I originally spotted this quote on Year In The Wild’s Facebook page. Check it out for incredible photographs and stories from South Africa’s wild places)

Wise words: You is loved & admired

From: chasingchi.blogspot.com

There’s a powerful scene in The Help where Aibileen repeats an upbuilding mantra to little Mae. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important,” she says.

While I haven’t actually seen the movie (I’ve been meaning to for a while now), I’ve been told about this scene often enough for the words to be familiar.

However, today they became part of my heart-collection: those pieces of advice, compliments, words of encouragement and blessings that I treasure and never want to misplace.

Today my wise and talented mother sent me a personalised version of the mantra, one dedicated just to me. I got it via SMS while sitting at my work desk and just about had to bury my head in the keyboard so as not to be caught with unexpected brimming eyes.

Anyway, I’d like to share it with you, because powerful words of affirmation, like these, need to be paid forward.

We all need to hear them spoken over us, so consider this my speaking it over you.

Hope it touches all your beautiful hearts and eyes, like it did mine:

You is smart.

You is clever.

You is kind. 

You is beautiful.

You is way, way too modest.

Stand up and be counted!

Stand up and be heard!

YOU IS LOVED & ADMIRED.

I was immediately also reminded of a quote doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter yesterday:

“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

Writing advice from Mr. Lewis

I’m a huge fan of Letters of Note, a blog that attempts to “gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.” I often pore over it when I’m bored or in need of inspiration, and have even started following Shaun Usher, the man behind the blog, on Twitter.

The stuff you will find on there is priceless, like this irreverent letter from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to a young fan’s disturbed mother or this heart-melting love note from Johnny Cash to wife, June.

But, so far, I think my favourite has got to be a response letter from C.S Lewis to one of his young Narnia fans.

The site states: “It was sent by Lewis to a young American fan named Joan Lancaster in June of 1956 — just a few months before the seventh and final book of the series, The Last Battle, was published — and is actually an invaluable, generous response filled with practical writing advice, all of which still rings true.”

For the full letter, check out Letters of Note, but here’s a little taster: the precious writing advice the kind old gentleman jotted down for little Joan.

What really matters is:–

1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.

2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.

3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”

4. In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.”

5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Thanks for the photos. You and Aslan both look v. well. I hope you’ll like your new home.

With love

yours

C.S. Lewis

 

Just some words

By now you probably know that I am quite a sucker for quirky (some would call them corny) quotes and words of wisdom.

Writing miscellaneous phrases down has probably been a hobby of mine since the very first moment I could form barely legible letters and construct wonky sentences.

Naturally my collection of quotes has spilled over from a variety of bedside books and pocket diaries, to my Pinterest account and blog. Naturally.

So, here are a few of my favourite latest web finds.

redheadjessica.tumblr.com

redheadjessica.tumblr.com

http://pinterest.com/injeanneous/

http://pinterest.com/injeanneous/

From: http://notetosarah.tumblr.com

From: http://notetosarah.tumblr.com

http://www.writeclickscrapbook.com

http://www.writeclickscrapbook.com

http://marycorder.blogspot.com/

http://marycorder.blogspot.com/

http://pinterest.com/meganwiz/

http://pinterest.com/meganwiz/

http://glitterglueandfireflies.blogspot.com

http://glitterglueandfireflies.blogspot.com

Inspiring, no?

Now tell me, do you have any of your own to share?