The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Martha Graham

This photo of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross was taken by photographer Carl Van Vetchtan

Martha Graham (1894- 1991) was an American dancer and choreographer whose influence on modern dance has been compared to Picasso’s influence on visual art. She worked as a dancer and choreographer for more than seventy years. Graham received many awards for her contributions to dance including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Read more about her amazing life HERE.

  • Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.
  • The only sin is mediocrity.
  • There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
  • Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.
  •  ‘Age’ is the acceptance of a term of years. But maturity is the glory of years.

The older I get, the more this nerdy chick appreciates that last quote. Especially the word glory!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Bella Abzug

File:Bella Abzug 1971-11-30.jpgWhen Bella Abzug was 13, her father died. There was no one to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for him in synagogue because that was the responsibility of the sons of the deceased — and Bella’s father didn’t have any sons. So Bella defied her community and said the prayers herself. It was one of her first feminist actions.

The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Bella started giving speeches about causes that were important to her in her childhood — speaking out in subways because she had no other pulpit. Over the course of her life, however, Bella found greater stages to stand on and larger audiences to listen to her words. including the House of Representatives, where she served from 1971 to 1977. She supported civil rights and women’s rights, and changed the world for the better.

Quotes from Bella Abzug:

  • “We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.”
  • “Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.”
  • “The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.”
  • “Women have been and are prejudiced, narrow minded, reactionary, even violent. Some women. They, of course, have a right to vote and a right to run for office. I will defend that right, but I will not support them or vote for them.”
  • “They used to give us a day–it was called International Women’s Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are.”
  • “All of the men on my staff can type.”

Learn more about Bella HERE.

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Nora Ephron

Novelist. Playwright. Journalist. Director. Screenwriter. Producer. It might be easier to list all the things that Nora Ephron had not done as the list above is nowhere near complete. Nora had a way of writing about people and relationships that was deep and humorous, touching and laugh-inducing.

A New York Times book reviewer once wrote, “She’s like Benjamin Franklin or Shakespeare: her words are now part of the fabric of the English language.” So when I was looking for my first Quotable Nerdy Chick, I was immediately drawn to Nora.

Quotes from Nora Ephron:

  • Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.
  • My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.
  • Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
  • I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
  • Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

Learn more about Nora HERE, or read some of her work HERE.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) wrote over thirty books? I didn’t. I knew only of one of her titles: Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is said that when Abraham Lincoln met her, he said, “”So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”  Uncle Tom’s Cabin was, of course, the little book. If you visit the website for The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, you will find out many interesting things you may not have known about this woman whose most famous book was published in 1851 and who continued working to fight social injustice for over four decades following its publication. The first quote below explains her rationale for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I think it’s a beautiful statement.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Quotes

  • I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity – because as a lover of my county, I trembled at the coming day of wrath.
  • A woman’s health is her capital.
  • Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.
  • Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.
  • So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?
  • Women are the real architects of society.

Quotable Nerdy Chicks: Maya Lin

I’m so glad I was reintroduced to the work of Maya Lin through my son who studied her recently in school. If you don’t already know this, Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D. C. while she was still an undergraduate student. When I was in college, one of my friends was among the first to visit that memorial. She found the name of another friend’s father on the memorial and brought back a framed pencil rubbing of it. I will never forget how touched my friend, whose father was killed before she could meet him, was by that gift. The Vietnam Memorial has touched countless others since its installation.

Lin has designed other amazing structures and done other amazing things. You can read more about them at her own beautifully designed website. www.mayalin.com She currently owns and operates Maya Lin Studio in New York City.

 Maya Lin Quotes

  • I loved school. I studied like crazy. I was a Class A nerd.
  • I was always making things. Even though art was what I did every day, it didn’t even occur to me that I would be an artist.
  • I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That’s art to me.
  • All my work is much more peaceful than I am.
  • To fly we have to have resistance.
  • How we are using up our home, how we are living and polluting the planet is frightening. It was evident when I was a child. It’s more evident now.

Now. Go visit her website. Move your cursor to make things happen!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick

Here are a few of my favorite nerdy chick quotes:

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.

— Marie Curie, scientist

In soloing – as in other activities – it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.

— Amelia Earhardt, aviator

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.

–Susan B. Anthony, activist

A woman is like a tea bag — you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

— Eleanor Roosevelt, activist

I would take every fairy tale that ends with the princess being rescued by Prince Charming and make the princess rescue herself.

— Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

–Golda Meir, politician

Things will come to you when you are ready for them (be they boyfriends, certain experiences, certain achievements).

— Aimee Friedman, author and editor

If it is who you are, then it is cool.

— Audrey Williams, Director of Educational Technology

That I did not fail was due in part to patience….

–Jane Goodall, primatologist 

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt.

— Jane Addams, social reformer

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something.

–Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court Justice

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.

–Annie Lennox

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.

–Urusla K. Le Guin, author

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations…If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out … You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

–Mae Jemison, Astronaut

I’ll be adding to this short list soon. Do you have a favorite nerdy chick quote?  Please leave a comment here and share it!