Room where thoughts from morning await reentry in the evening. Quotes on soul. “Song of the Lark” by Willa Cather (July 2019)

Susan's Thursday morning note July 18, 2019
Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Quotes on the soul.  Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”  Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Good morning.  Early heavy morning.  The earth seems tired this  morning.  None of my little birds are singing.  None of my leaves are even sending a little quiver to help waken me.  My loyal cup of coffee is steaming being my faithful friend at this point.  My angel of dawn quietly peers through the window.  She holds a damp rosebud.  She is pointing out a little hopping robin a few yards away.  She again shows me to realize the morning again has arrived.  My gift.  The heavy air.  The quiet.  There will be a time where I will desire this silent morning, so let me today accept even the heavy summer morning as my gift from her.  This gift of a beautiful word called life. 

This week I was able to disappear into a favorite book.  I again became the main character in my mind of Thea from Willa Cather’s, Song of the Lark.  This book is on a young girl moving from Colorado to Chicago to develop her skills in music.  The thoughts in this book are of small-town, of leaving to go study, of trying to fit back into the lives of those in her small town. Of dreams. Of dialogues between the mind and the soul of Thea.  After the quotes from the book I’ve then found quotes on the soul. Tying her inner thoughts to what all of us think about. Reflections on what makes us who we are and what we are willing to share from the deepest recesses of who we are. 

Leaving morning thoughts in her bedroom to await her arrival in the evening:

“The acquisition of this room was the beginning of a new era in Thea’s life. It was one of the most important things that ever happened to her. Hitherto, except in summer, when she could be out-of-doors, she had lived in constant turmoil; the family, the day school… The clamour about her drowned the voice within herself. In the end of the wing, separated from the other upstairs sleeping-rooms by a long, cold, unfinished lumber-room, her mind worked better. She thought things out more clearly. Pleasant plans and ideas occurred to her which had never come before. She had certain thoughts which were like companions, ideas which were like older and wiser friends. She left them there in the morning, and when she finished dressing in the cold, and at night, when she came up with her lantern and shut the door after a busy day, she found them awaiting her.”


Thea’s reflections after her music teacher told her she was “different” than his average students.  On being with “herself” for an inspirational companion.

“…in a way she knew.  She knew, of course, that there was something about her that was different.  But it was more like a friendly spirit than like anything that was a part of herself.   She brought everything to it, and it answered her; happiness consisted of that backward and forward movement of herself.  The something came and went, she never knew how.  Sometimes she hunted for it and could not find it; again, she lifted her eyes from a  book, or stepped out of doors, or wakened in the morning, and it was there under her cheek, it usually seemed to be, or over her breast – a kind of warm sureness.  And when it was there, everything was more interesting and beautiful, even people.  When this companion was with her…”


Thea’s reflections on who she is…her idea of meeting herself in the future.  Of not yet wanting to share her greatest gift of singing that she knew she had within her.

“…It was as if she had an appointment to meet the rest of herself sometime, somewhere.  It was moving to meet her and she was moving to meet it.  That meeting awaited her.  What if one’s second self could somehow speak to all these second selves?  What if one could bring them out, as whiskey did Spanish Johnny’s?  (a dear friend that after drinking could play beautiful music from his soul).  How deep they lay, these second persons, and how little one knew about them, except to guard them fiercely.  It was to music, more than to anything else, that these hidden things in people responded.”



“Let people try to stop her.  Along with the yearning that came from some deep part of her, that was selfless and exalted, Thea had a hard kind of cockiness, a determination to get ahead.  Well, there are passages in life when that fierce, stubborn self-assertion will stand its ground after the nobler feeling is overwhelmed and beaten under….her body had the elasticity that comes of being highly charged with the desire to live.”


On being her main confident and one that knew her the most…herself…when she was discouraged after the judgment and misunderstandings of her soul from those in her hometown. 

She frowned at herself for a long while in her looking-glass.  Yes, she and It must fight it out together.  The thing that looked at her out of her own eyes was the only friend she could count on. “Oh, I can get along, in a little way…but it’s silly to live at all for little things,” she added quietly, “Living’s too much trouble unless one can get something big out of it…I only want impossible things.  The others don’t interest me.”

“I wish I one could look ahead and see what’s coming to one. That would never do. It’s the uncertainty that makes one try.”

“…nobody could look into her face and draw back, nobody who had any courage. She had courage enough for anything – look at her mouth and chin and eyes! Where did it come from, that light? She was not one of those who draw back. Some people get on by avoiding dangers, others by riding through them.”

“Don’t you know most of the people in the world are not individuals at all?   They never have an individual idea or experience…They get their most personal experiences out of novels and plays.   Everything is second-hand with them.     Why, you couldn’t live like that…You’d have managed in some way to live twenty times as much as the people around you.”


Quotes on “Soul”

“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.  In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”  Oscar Wilde

“The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real.  It is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live.”  Victor Hugo

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”  Martin Luther

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”  Emily Dickinson

Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.
                Jalal-ad-Din Rumi - Persian poet 1207-1273

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”  Thomas Carlyle (Scottish Historian 1795-1881)

‘There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.”  Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Nowhere can man find a quieter or untroubled retreat than in his own soul.”  Marcus Aurelius

“You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.”  Martha Graham

“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”  Napoleon Hill

“Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.  It is daily admission of one’s weakness.  It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  Mohandes Gandhi

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”  Muhammad Ali

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.”  Plato

“Re-examine all that you have been told…dismiss that which insults your soul.”  Walt Whitman

“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.”  Rene Descartes

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”  Paramahansa Yogananda

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”  Johannes Sebastian Bach

Thank you for letting me again enter your Thursday morning.  Our morning sun will soon cause weariness, but for the early sunlight now entering she brings her gift of this morning.  Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.  I see a few leaves beginning to flutter.  My little animal friends still seem to think sleeping in is their way to deal with this heaviness.  Such a quiet morning.  Let the heavy stillness give our souls a rest.  Tonight we again will mentally have a chance to write an epitaph of the moments before us today.  Will we have anything worth inscribing in stone?  The sands…how quickly they are flowing.  Will we mentally be able to stop a few grains in our mind and stop a few moments to hold as a gift in our minds.  To have a memory of today.  Hold a moment as a treasure and realize it is our gift.  Will we look into eyes?  Will we hear the birds as we step outside?  Will we look to the heavens for our strength and realize how short and how beautiful the gift of this life is?  Thank you for again for your business, for your friendship, and for letting me write for you.  I hope you can walk into the store soon.  A smile, a cup of coffee, a cookie, and a book that might change your life waits for you.  Susan\


Latin for this week:
vi et animo - With heart and soul.

Works Cited: Cather, Willa.  The Song of the Lark.  New York.  Penguin Putnam.  1991.