My Heart Is Not A Home For Cowards – My Year In 100 Quotes

Gleðilegt nýtt ár from Iceland. I’ve never been into New Year in the typical sense. Saying ‘Happy New Year’ in English has left me cringing for the longest time. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s because my relationship with England is growing ever sourer as the years go on. I don’t need to go into detail as to why, I’m sure you can guess.

Saying it in a Nordic language, though, that feels good. It feels right. And I genuinely mean it when I say it, even when I write it. I could do without the fireworks (my heart aches for the animals), and I prefer to sit quietly by myself, reflecting on the past year than getting hammered and screaming the countdown to midnight. Even as a kid, I would shut myself away in my bedroom and make list after list of my favourite things from the past year.

I know it has been a little while (who am I kidding, it’s been ages) since I blogged but, well, life. I have been writing a fair bit over at Patreon and am toying with the idea of whether I should write there exclusively from now on, but it would, I think, feel weird and not a good kind of weird to stop posting here. So I’ll continue.

However, if you’re interested in following my journey on a more intimate level and would like to support me and my work, please consider dropping by. Support on Patreon means such a lot, especially as I’m hoping to finalise my Nordic relocation this year.

The quotes in this post have been collected from all sorts of sources – friends on Facebook, books, newsletters, internet searches, TV shows and lyrics. I’m dead curious to know which resonate with you. 

 “Come deeper, it says, in its voice that is not a voice. You have already always been here.” – Alice Tarbuck

“Time passes. Listen. Time passes.” – Dylan Thomas

“Everyone carries their own idea of north within them.” – Peter Davidson

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” – Anthony Trollope

“Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.” – Gretchen Rubin

“Time used to be deeper than this.” – Kyo Maclear

“Faces have a near-unwatchable intimacy, particularly in a world in which everything perishes in the end. It is difficult to look as we choose, without emotional consequence.” – Kyo Maclear

“Make the most of one opportunity and more opportunities will come your way. Moving boldly in one direction causes more paths to unfold before you. To get more, focus on less.” – James Clear

“What we do with our attention, in short, is at the heart of what makes us human.” – Rob Walker

“Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow.’ Try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: Morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you’re back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.” – Gretchen Rubin

“You can’t TRY to do things, you must simply DO them.” – Ray Bradbury

“Like every beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies.” – Ray Bradbury

“Literature is writing meant to be read twice.” – Cyril Connolly

“Metal music throws everything at you, and, accordingly, is inspires people to throw everything into life itself, reciprocating that energy in a heavy lifestyle.” – Dan Franklin

“Work cures everything.” – Matisse

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

“I wither in stagnation and I am energized when I am learning. I will burn myself completely like a good bonfire and leave no trace of myself behind.” – Shunrgu Suzuk

“The best art divides the audience.” – Ryan Holiday

“The polar bear is almost paranormally quiet.” – Kieran Mulvaney

 “A glimpse is all we have in this life.” – Unknown. 

“For I belong to the forests and solitude.” – Knut Hamsun

“My heart is not a home for cowards.” – D. Antoinette Foy 

“My centre of gravity has moved North.” – Unknown

“A witch is the shadow cast by every woman you’ve ever known.” – Pam Grossman

“I serve the devil and I do so gladly.” – Isobel Gowdie

“We ARE the magic.” – Unknown

“My plan for the rest of my life is to set myself on fire with enthusiasm so people will come for miles to watch me burn. I. Will. Roar. For. Nature. – Unknown

 “The smooth skull of winter.” – Gretel Ehrlich 

“You must suffer for metal. It demands it.” – Erik, Nifelheim

“The Great Nature is embarrassed by the white men who have come to live with us.” – Sorqaq (Shaman)

“Listening in wild places, we are audiences in conversations not our own.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer 

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

“A writer must be hard to live with. When not working he is miserable, and when he is working he is obsessed.” – Edward Abbey

“I do what gnaws at me.” – Diane Arbus

“Depth will become increasingly rare and therefore increasingly valuable.” – Cal Newport

“Magic is difficult to talk about.” – Alice Tarbuck

“My best poems are usually written from a place of thinking ‘this is ridiculous but I can’t resist trying.” – Mark McGuiness

“Carry the fire.” – Cormac McCarthy

“There are things in the woods that can cure you, there are things in the woods that can kill you.” – Alice Tarbuck

“Snow that wasn’t forecast is the best gift of all.” – Nigel Slater

“A life can change in a paragraph, in a turn of phrase, in a single well-used word.” – Joe Fassler

“I felt that magical alchemy of poetry, the way it acknowledges things we can’t fully understand.” – Aimiee Bender

“My path as a writer became much more smooth when I learned, when things aren’t going well, to regard my struggles as curious, not tragic.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Let me fall in love one last time, I beg them. Teach me mortality, frighten me into the present.” – Jack Gilbert

 “Do what you need. Words can be patient like trees and snow.” – Ian

“So many ways available to us to express don’t feel blocked because one won’t flow.” – Susie (Facebook friend.)

 “Shamans were often lonely, too. This gave them power.” – Nafre (My brother of blizzards.)

“Wordsmithing is very much like hunting. So, when one catches not the prey, it is perhaps more so because the animals are playing us. As with the hunter in the tundra… patience. Go still, and hunt!” – Nafre

“I refuse to be undignified by anything; and I encourage my dear friends, who are themselves prophets of higher, deeper, darker and brighter things, to wander, wander, wander with their heads high into that very same sky which will crush us. We have been strong in our wildernesses, as we are and will be!” – Nafre

“Please do pick up your camera, magic happens when you do.” – Kev (Friend of many years.)

“I do think in this world we are all truly alone; however, our suffering is like a language, isn’t it? I wish you all your strength, all your fight, all your hunger, and all your dreaming. I believe you will overcome. May you strike the void with your heart and make it resonate with your will!” – Nafre

“We humans with our blunted senses know so little about things.” – Gretal Ehrlich

“It doesn’t get any less scary. All that happens is that you have less life left. It helps if you do your falling early, and it really helps if you do your reaching early.” – Mary H.K. Choi

“Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“Life: An intermittent fever between long lapses of quiet.” –  Roberto Calasso

“Snowflakes actually start off all alike; it is experience that makes each one different enough to be noticed.” – Adam Gopnik

“We of the craft are all crazy. Some are affected by gaiety, others by melancholy, but all are more or less touched.” – Lord Byron

“All poets are mad.” – Robert Burton.

“Digital for productivity; analogue for creativity.”  – Rae Ritchie.

“I’m going hunting

I’m the hunter

I’ll bring back the goods

but I don’t know when. Bjork

“In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible — for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success — don’t be afraid to disappear from it, from us, for a while and see what comes to you in the silence.”Michaela Coel

“No love is like / any other love / so it would be insane / to make a comparison” – Fiona Apple

“There’s only one age: alive.” Agnes Varda, to Oliver Jeffers

“There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.” Carol Rifka Bunt

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.” Sylvia Plath

“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann

“The winter sky has a clarity and a gentleness that I find more pleasing than the harsh, screaming colours of summer. Softer tones, those clean, Arctic blues, the whisper-soft greys and pin-sharp paper whites, are the skies I want to live under.” Nigel Slater

“Mostly, when I do have wolves on my mind, it is midwinter. Winter is the wolf time.” Jim Crumley

“You’re ready. Start making stuff.” Austin Kleon

“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood

“Dusk, when the edges of things blur.” – Alexi Francis

“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame. How could you become new if you had not first become ashes.” – Nietzche

“Your truth is my truth. Your story is my story. Is our shared story. Of our shared humanity. We are all a part of the one beating heart. Of the rhythm of life. And your darkness is so welcome here.” – Dawn Conlan-Grant

“You think I’m not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you’ll burn.” – Margaret Atwood

“When you feel the need to speed up, slow down.” – African proverb

“Pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it.” – Stephi Wegner

“How far will you go to look for home?” – Imtiaz Dharker

“We are people of the sea ice. And if there’s not more sea ice, how do we be people of the sea ice?” – Inuit elder

“Do not be afraid to bare your teeth – you were not brought into this world covered in blood to become a gentle, tamed thing.”― Nichole McElhaney

“I won’t be remembered as a woman who kept her mouth shut.” – Unknown

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” – Erma Bombek

“She was happy. She lived for herself and enjoyed her own company. They called it loneliness. She knew it was freedom.” – F.E. Marie

“The call to witchcraft often begins with trauma or illness. To navigate the underworld, you need to go there many times.” – Amanda Yates Garcia

“You get forever stranger, honey.” – Terry, a friend on Facebook

“We have been starving for too long. And it’s worked to keep us out of our power. Until now. Change is coming, we can smell it, we are ravenous for it, like anyone who has been starved for a few thousand years.” – Lucy. H. Pearce

“Whenever I hear a guy say, ‘She’s too wild, too much, too hard to figure out, too complicated, too intense, too hard to handle, too emotional, too opinionated, or crazy.’ I hear, ‘I’d have burned her ass at the stake back in Salem. She is too connected to the Goddess. I won’t be able to tame her.” – Jenny G. Perry

“Bravery can be messy.” – Gale Straub.

“My home’s way up to the north they say
Where the hunter may die all alone” – Mary McCaslin (Wendigo)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Einstein

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” – Thoreau

“If all you young men were hares on the mountain
How many young girls would take guns and go hunting?” – Shirley Collins (Hares on the Mountain)

“Man is always interfering with the way the forest creatures want to experience the world.” – Amanda Yates Garcia

“Though her soul requires seeing, the culture around her requires sightlessness. Though her soul wishes to speak its truth, she is pressured to be silent.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“We don’t know the value of darkness until we have destroyed it. We don’t what a soul is worth until it is gone.” – Clark Strand

“Inside the dark we are unprotected and our troubles always come close.” – Clark Strand

“Everything in existence lives we just live in different ways.” – Rudolf Steiner

“Burning woman, you have not been shown how to burn. Nor taught how the process works. You see your otherness as failure. As shame. But your burning is your gift to the world.” – Lucy H Pearce.

“Compare and despair.”Beth Pickens

“Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight? It appears quite black.” – Hannibal

“People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” – Cheryl Richardson

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