Purple Passages: A Dragon with a Gift, April 2014



April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots and spring rain.

T. S. Eliot The Waste-Land


When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d

And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,

I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with every-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,

Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,

And thought of him I love.


Walt Whitman, elegy commemorating the death of Lincoln, 1865



Easter is very important to me, it’s a second chance.  ―  Reba McEntire

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.    ― Pope John Paul II



Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.    (Unknown)

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.  ―  Arnold H. Glasgow



Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. ―  J. M. Barrie

When you can’t figure out what to do, it’s time for a nap.    ― Mason Cooley



Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Dragon and Gift_final_shade+color_crop_5x5_300

Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.

Noela Evans, on persevering through problems, endurance

Shakespeare says it another way, but with a toad:  Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head. 


Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. ― Mason Cooley

One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.   ― Beverly Cleary

Marian Reading_14mos._2x4_300 THE  FUTURE

The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time.  ― Abraham Lincoln

 *   *   *

Do you believe a challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth? A story about this that comes to mind . . . ?

What category can you add a quote to? 

What other topics would you like to see in this monthly feature, Purple Passages?

Coming next: Mennonite Flashback III: Rabbits and Rings


26 thoughts on “Purple Passages: A Dragon with a Gift, April 2014

    1. You’re right! If you can read the blurry ink, the picture was taken by my mother when I was 14 months old: little white high-tops and my nose in a book. Not much has changed, except the white high-tops. Thank you for commenting – and always being the early bird, Georgette.


  1. Beautiful quotes and great photo, especially of little you with your children’s book. I smell those lilacs. Too early for those here this year, but I saw crocus this morning for the first time and I’m watching bluebirds argue with tree swallows about the nesting boxes near the house. I spy on them with binoculars as they work this out. My camera isn’t up to the challenge of catching a photo. Thank you, Marian.


  2. Some great quotes. I love “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”by Mason Cooley . I will borrow it. Here is another one for you, “No matter what happens, life is an adventure. There will be good days and bad times. The good days build fond memories. The bad times build character.” I can’t remember who said that but I use it a lot.


    1. These quotes are all borrowed. Ha! I’ve stopping looking in my journals for ideas (chock full of book quotes) because I snatch so many good ones in the here and now. These quotes, including the one you offered, endure because they are wise and true. Thanks, Darlene.


  3. Marian, your dragon alternately repelled and amused me, bringing back the memory of dragon art on a stained glass window in the boarding house I lived in during my junior year abroad in Barcelona, Spain (my memoir published as “Departure” back in the early 90s mentions the dragon). My first night in Barcelona I was scared and lonely and wondering what I had gotten myself into. As I went up the stairs to the shared bathroom, the dragon up the stairs grabbed me, but I refused to take it as a bad omen of any kind. It was “St George and the Dragon” and there’s likely a myth to remember there somewhere, and I resolved in my heart that St. George and I would slay any dragons that would raise their heads to challenge me. Old St. George spoke to me many times that year. And it was one of the best years of my life up til that point, for sure!


    1. You have to love a legend with a plot that features the Sign of the Cross and a young maiden’s girdle. I’m glad your very own St. George slew the scary dragons in Barcelona. I must read your memoir . . . loved the anecdote, Melodie!


  4. Dragon slayers are my favorite people. Life is tough sometimes but facing those challenges head on most often leads to success. I recall the lilacs that bloomed outside my grandma’s dining room window. You have reminded me to put them in my WIP. That sweet fragrance is one you can never forget.


    1. Who knew my post today would be a memory prompt. But that’s how it is with writers: Everything we see / hear / remember is grist for the writing mill. Thanks for taking time to read and comment today, Susan.


    1. How heart-warming to re-connect with you again, Susan. Thank you for reading and commenting today. “This wintry day here in South Africa” gives me cause for pause: I would have imagined where you live would be warm in April. Oh, I remember, it’s a different season. (I guess a geography lesson wouldn’t hurt either–ha!) Congratulations on making it almost half-way through the month in the April Challenge A-Z. The fact that you are collaborating with another writer is also impressive. I left a comment . . . we’ll have to stay in touch, Susan.


  5. So many wonderful quotes, Marian! Too much to ponder now with my busy day full of dragon taming–my prize being a sense of accomplishment with projects completed and mini-Seder meal made. BTW, I love that it is tame the dragon to gain the gift, rather than slay the dragon.

    I don’t think lilacs are in bloom yet here, but Saturday it seems as though all of the flowering trees–magnolia, dogwoods, etc. and suddenly burst into full bloom, so perhaps the lilacs have, too. We had a truly glorious spring weekend.
    The photo of toddler you is adorable!


    1. Thank you for observing the distinction between dragon taming and dragon slaying. St. George slew a dragon, we just tame the one facing us for our benefit. Neat!

      Blessings to you as you prepare your mini-Seder meal. I got a short tutorial on the Seder menu when I read Rachel Held Evans’ book, My Year of Biblical Womanhood. May your glorious spring continue after a long, hard winter. I always enjoy your wise comments and your posts, Merril.


      1. Besides if you tame a dragon, you can keep it as a pet. If you slay it, then what do you do with the carcass–unless you’re into eating dragon meat, which I’m not.
        A day of dragon taming makes me silly. 🙂
        Thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes!


  6. Lilacs: “Still grows the vivacious lilac a generation after the door and lintel and the sill are gone, unfolding its sweet-scented flowers each spring, to be plucked by the musing traveller…”

    Henry David Thoreau


    1. A worthy addition! Now we have T. S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, and H. D. Thoreau. Maybe I should do a Google Advanced Search. Hmmm. Thank you so much for adding to our treasury of quotes, Jenn. Indeed, I think lilacs are vivacious–so many bursts of bloom and such rich scent. Thoreau was on to something in those lines, I agree.


  7. I did miss this post, Marian, but glad you sent me over. The quotes and photos are wonderful, but the comments are the cherry on top! I have to find my antique rose books and share them soon.


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