The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about
Geography of Self &
Cartography of the Soul

Welcome to my page of quotations about the geography of our souls and our minds, of love and of the heart, about inner wayfinding, emotional topography, exploring who we are even while laying new paths, about our own boundaries and freedom from boundaries, about the search for, the finding of, and the constant mapping and re-mapping of oneself.  —ღ Terri

There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. ~Josephine Hart, Damage, 1991

The soul of man is like a countryside...
What bogs and fens on every side extend,
What desolate moors that seem to have no end,
Dotted with little gleaming groves of thought!...
~Harry Kemp, "The Soul's Cartography," in Munsey's Magazine, 1921

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. ~George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, 1876

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey. ~John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, 1997  [The 'C' in this book title has a single dot over it, but my web font does not support that letter so for aesthetics’ sake I’ve changed it to a plain C. –tg]

Philosophy is map-making for the soul, cartography for the human journey. ~Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies, 1999

But I hope that in after-years when I read over the pages of this diary, I shall not discover that it takes a sextant, a compass, and an alarm clock to find out where my heart is! ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), At the Age of Eve, 1911

History in the final analysis is the clock people use to tell the cultural and political time of day and it is the compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. History tells a people where they have been and what they have been; where they are and what they are. Most important, history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must be. ~John Henrik Clarke, "African People in World History," 1982

This is a contour map where I may read
With reverence your soul's geography—
The heights, the depths, stark valleys of our need,
The luminous peaks of love's bright ecstasy.
The lines become more lovely with the years...
~Author unknown

My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call. ~Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides, 1986

...The clouds to me
Were brothers, and like them I spurned the earth,
Soaring where only souls newly set free
By love requited, thru a second birth
      Enter that holy realm we know must be
      Fair charted in the soul's geography!
~Laban Lacy Rice, Sonnets to Blanche Buchanan Rice, 1921

A birthchart and its evolutionary transits depict an individual's specific soul-cartography in resplendent detail. ~VerDarLuz, Codex of the Soul, 2012

It's easy to get lost when the map is in your hand and not in your heart. ~Terri Guillemets, "Kicking up dust on my own path," 2015

...The earth our bulb from which we spring
our green body a vaster thing
an unknown island to be sought
volute discovery
the oceanic span of thought
the soul's geography
~May Swenson, "An Unknown Island," Another Animal, 1954

Every artist's illimitable country is himself. ~E.E. Cummings, 1945

Come, happy crowds of atoms, and be housed and at home with me.
Come from the fields, the seas and the hills,
Drop from the air,
Oh, atoms that make my body, that gather so cunningly,
That out of your rhythmic and ordered millions make this metropolis, myself!...
Sometimes pestilence sweeps this city,
And there are strange fires that play over it:
It has its holidays of rejoicing, its twilights of melancholy,
There are days of terrific toil, there are nights of sleepiest peace...
And lo, here is my city, right here composing me at this moment...
Is n't it all unbelievable?...
So lately come into existence, so soon to vanish...
~James Oppenheim, "City of Myself," War and Laughter, 1916

Silentness is not Silence.
      He's silent in silence whose
      Soul's geography is bare.
But silentness is deportment
      Heroic, when the field is
      Occupied. He's silent in
Silentness—whose God is there,
      Or when God lies dying,
      A finger to His lips. Hush!
~José Garcia Villa (1908–1997), "Silentness is not Silence"

Let your heart be your compass, with a clear conscience for your binnacle light, and you'll sail ten knots on a bowline, clear of shoals, rocks and quicksands! ~W. S. Gilbert, Ruddygore; or, The Witch's Curse!, 1887  [An Entirely Original Supernatural Opera by Gilbert & Sullivan. Character line: Richard Dauntless. –tg]

To uncover new stratas of myself. To drill down to unknown levels. To uncover beds, and veins, and pockets down in the untried depths. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Every day more remote, protected, distant. He built tests now for the soulmate he hasn't found, bricking wall and maze and mountain fortress, dares her to find him at the hidden center of them all. ~Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever:  a lovestory, 1984

Somewhere inside, we hear a voice. It leads us in the direction of who we wish to become. But it is up to us whether or not to follow. ~Pat Tillman (1976–2004),

A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend. A poet, like the goose, sails without visible landmarks to unexplored regions of truth, which philosophy has yet to lay down on its atlas. The philosopher gets his track by observation; the poet trusts to his inner sense, and makes the straighter and swifter line. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Professor at the Breakfast-Table," 1859

Poetry — soul cartography.
~Terri Guillemets, "Treasure seeking you," 2003

Strange how long it takes us to discover ourselves... The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell. ~Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms, 1948

I am going into a far country, farther than the East is from the West — the Land of my Separate Selves. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XXIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

Dreams are foreign lands within the bounds of our own hearts. ~Terri Guillemets, "Mid-night journeys," 2017

To use a geographical metaphor, Poe's life was bounded on the north by sorrow, on the east by poverty, on the south by aspiration and on the west by calumny; his genius was unbounded. There are literary hyenas still prowling about his grave. But his pensive brow wears the garland of immortality. His soul was music and his very life-blood was purest art. His ear caught the cadences of that higher harmony which poets hear above the world's turmoil. In spite of detraction he is safely enshrined in memory while poetry shall live. Young poets will always have tears and roses for his grave. ~Chauncey C. Starkweather, "Special Introduction," Essays of American Essayists, 1900

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published 2016 Feb 4
revised 2018 Jul 2
last saved 2023 Feb 20