"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

1 Marc h 2017

My mama had all kinds of sayings, repeated enough that we called them Mamalisms. Thinking on those today, especially what she had to say about courage. 

“You have to have the courage of your convictions.”

“Courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Courage means being afraid, and doing it anyway.”

“Sometimes you’re gonna find, when it’s what’s right, you have to be strong enough to stand even if it means people won’t like you.” 

‘People tend to think of courage being loud, but more often than not, real courage is quiet, and goes unnoticed, just people doing the right thing, the thing their conscience tells them is what needs to be done.”

“Sometimes, you have to not only be brave for yourself, but brave for others. To whom much is given, much is expected. If you have the resources to fight on someone else’s behalf, someone weaker or less equipped than you, then you have a responsibility to do that.”

I think of how often she fed people, took people in, or how she took care of her patients in her job as a nurse, especially quietly explaining to our young parish priest, why he was not only wrong, but defying God,  when he admonished her, saying that she should not be caring for AIDS patients back in the 80s.

When I write those final lines, I don’t want to think I wish I’d had more courage. 

Make art about daily acts of courage, about being willing to defy expectations or criticism to do what you think is right. 

Fountain pen writing courage




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