(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day: the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my joy-filled life. -- Joyce Wycoff)
In 1982, I met a woman for lunch and picked her brain about a possible project. I don’t remember her name, but she changed my life.
While the woman warned me about the hazards of the project I was contemplating, she also gave me an unexpected gift … a quote, words that inflamed me and washed away all her cautious words. That quote was, and continues to be, a universal favorite even though it was attributed to Goethe who probably never said it. The Scottish writer W.H. Murray has been given credit for it although Goethe might have inspired his stirring words:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
The project came and went, a somewhat success and a definite learning adventure, leaving behind a passion for quotes which launched me into a lifetime of collecting bits of wisdom from people, famous and unknown, living and dead. Now, forty years later, I find myself still digging through my collection, which has grown to several thousands, and frequently scouring the millions of quotes available on the Internet in search of more nuggets of inspiration and wisdom.
This collection of quotes was not done with an end result in mind, however, it finally seems to be coming into its own. My current project is a gratitude-focused, guided-life journal titled Gratitude Mojo. As I enter the final phase of development of this project, what strikes me is how much my decades of quote collection has made this project possible and joyful. While I tend to use a few quotes in all my projects, they are a central feature of this journal. Like Br’er Rabbit, I have been thrown into my briar patch home, spending delightful hours choosing just the right quote to inspire my journalers of the future.
About "Maggi's Spirit": Many years ago, I had the great good fortune to meet and become friends with Maggi, another woman who changed my life. Maggi was magic and lived in a magical octagon house filled with art and treasures. She allowed me to explore her house with my camera and I wound up making a piece of art that included some personal elements not meant for anyone but her. However, when I took away those elements, I was left with "Maggi's Spirit," a piece which highlights the values she embodied: love, beauty, nature, joy, and spirit.
Maggi danced off to another world about this time six years ago, however, she will long be remembered by so many of us. This is the memorial I wrote after she left: