Stacy Schiff: "Fiercely but compassionately, she..."

“Fiercely but compassionately, she plucked order from chaos.” 

Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life

Stacy Schiff: "If one prefers not..."

“If one prefers not to be perceived as a king, one is ill advised, for starters, to spend one’s time consorting with a queen.”

Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life

Mary Carole McCauley: "Art isn't meant to..."

"Art isn't meant to be protected like a hothouse flower from the withering blasts of real life. Theater isn't created in spite of the rude, bruising outside world — it springs from it. It is the source of the art form's vitality, its ferocity and its relevance."

- Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun, May 1, 2010

Kwame Kwei-Armah: "Our job as artists..."

“Our job as artists is to treat the world that we’ve come into with integrity. Otherwise, we’re bastardizing other cultures so that we can be looked upon as access for others who may be more economically empowered. There’s no honor in that. But there is honor in explaining a way of life, or explaining a dysfunction, or explaining a morality, or exposing or helping enter into a world that makes you understand human nature in a way that you may never have before.”

-Kwame Kwei-Armah, the new Artistic Director at Baltimore's CenterStage, from an interview on, The Creative Source on Heading CenterStage

Deborah Reed: "...and he wonders if..."

"...and he wonders if loving a woman, even one who breaks your heart, has a way of keeping a man going for another day."

—Deborah Reed, Carry Yourself Back to Me (p271)

Deborah Reed: "For the first time..."

"For the first time in her life she felt the scope of what she knew and loved about music, and it began to feel limitless."

—Deborah Reed, Carry Yourself Back to Me (p224)

Deborah Reed: "People don't always have..."

"People don't always have good sense."

—Deborah Reed, Carry Yourself Back to Me (p208)

Deborah Reed: "A mind can think..."

"A mind can think a lot of things in the short time it takes to open a mouth."

—Deborah Reed, Carry Yourself Back to Me (p72)

Deborah Reed: "He finds her most..."

"He finds her most beautiful in the morning. Maybe it's just seeing her for the first time of the day."

—Deborah Reed, Carry Yourself Back to Me (p18)

Robert Redford: "Storytellers broaden our minds..."

“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.”

—Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute

Aaron Sorkin: "...they ran into the..."

"...they ran into the fire to help get people out... ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless."

—Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing

Dalai Lama: "Today, as we mark..."

"Today, as we mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC, let us remember all the innocent lives lost and ponder the continuing impact of that tragic day. September 11th reminds us of the horror we human beings can unleash on ourselves when we allow our human intelligence and powerful technology to be overtaken by hatred.

"We need to learn from our painful memories of September 11th and become more aware of the destructive consequences that arise when we give in to feelings of hatred. This tragedy in particular has reinforced my belief that fostering a spirit of peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding among the world’s peoples and faith traditions is an urgent matter of importance to us all. We must therefore make every effort to ensure that our various faith traditions contribute to build a more caring, peaceful world."

—The Dalai Lama, September 9, 2011
Originally published in the Washington Post on September 10, 2011

Sarah Vowell: "An astrologer once told..."

"An astrologer once told me, 'You suffer from what's called a geographic.' A geographic is when a person walks around thinking that where he lives will make his life better. The astrologer said, 'Let me tell you, life is about an emotional connection to people and things and it doesn't matter where you are on the globe.'"

Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (The Strenuous Life)

Sarah Vowell: "Walking in New York...

"Walking in New York is a battle of the wills, a balance of aggression and kindness. I'm not saying it's always easy... But I believe all that choreography has made me a better person."

Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)

Sarah Vowell: "Neither snow, nor rain..."

"'Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.'"

Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (The Partly Cloudy Patriot), quoting the U.S. Postal Service credo

Sarah Vowell: "American history is a..."

"American history is a quagmire, and the more one knows, the quaggier the mire gets."

Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)

Sarah Vowell: "The Brits don't apologize..."

"The Brits don't apologize for being knowledgeable. In fact, they're a little disdainful of you for not doing your homework. And in America, doing your homework is the most uncool thing in the world."

Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (The Nerd Voice, Part II)

Ernst Fischer: "In a decaying society..."

"In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it."

—Ernst Fischer

John F. Kennedy: "In the long history..."

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility. I welcome it."

—John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address Jan. 20, 1961

Matthew Cody: "We are such a..."

"We are such a funny race, humans. Compelled to scratch our lives out in ink, on paper or rock. Whether it's a limestone wall or the pulp pages of a comic book, I suspect it's hard-wired in our DNA — the urge to record our lives."

—Matthew Cody, Powerless (p235)

Matthew Cody: "It was like a..."

"It was like a memory of a dream - it didn't make sense exactly, yet it seemed so real."

—Matthew Cody, Powerless (p5)

Patrick Pacheco: "Until that twelfth of..."

"Until that twelfth of never, what the world does have is art. Art that says, as it does in this musical, that 'In the middle of your life anything can happen.' Art that says that love is the greatest journey that heaven can allow. Art that says that while the pain of loss is ineffable and unending, the beauty of music can give voice to that pain and even redeem it."

- Patrick Pacheco, in the liner notes of the DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY cast album

Unknown: "Exult in the quotidian..."

"Exult in the quotidian beauty of life!"


Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To be yourself in..."

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hafiz: "Even after all this..."

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth: 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that; it lights up the whole sky."


James Heaton: "There is tremendous creative..."

"There is tremendous creative power in the act of rebuilding from nothing. A truly horrible situation pulled out of me the fortitude and determination required to take action"

—James Heaton, Apparent Failure Focuses the Mind

James Heaton: "Lack of a clearly..."

Lack of a clearly articulated brand proves to be inefficient in at least four ways:
  1. It takes more effort and time both for the organization and the agency to create these unique products. 
  2. The work requires institutional memory and tight oversight if it is not to become totally arbitrary and dependent on the whim of the designer or the organizational staff person responsible for the product.
  3. The absence of any concrete guideposts makes it difficult to discuss the relative merits of one design over another, and this results in a much greater opportunity for personal taste to interfere with and slow down the process. 
  4. The end product does not naturally support and enhance the brand. Each product has a brand logo, but each is in fact more about itself than the organizational brand, so each is, in essence, its own competing brand product that seeks attention on its own terms rather than contributing its message to the larger brand message
—James Heaton, Brand Impact on CSI Reports

James Heaton: "Among the many positive..."

"Among the many positive consequences of their now having a well articulated brand that is true to their organizational vision, is that the brand serves to facilitate the process of developing graphic design executions for them. Before the re-brand, every new report was a unique design concept adhering to loosely defined and mostly intuitive brand attributes. Brand acceptability needed to be vetted directly with the Executive Director. This process relied very heavily on the content of the particular report, which in and of itself is not bad, but this, along with the absence of agreed upon guidelines, resulted in only tenuous stylistic connections among reports, and both the organization and the designers had to spend a good deal of time developing and approving a design style for each report. The resulting lack of continuity is manifest even among reports designed by the same graphic designer."

—James Heaton, Brand Impact on CSI Reports

James Heaton: "When we stake out..."

"When we stake out our own brand position saying “We prefer truth,” it means we are working with our clients to uncover the most essential truths of their brand and that we are then intent on finding ways to communicate these brand truths as eloquently and effectively as possible. We are not manufacturing a brand message based on studies of what the market will believe, but what they will recognize as true to their experience of that brand. We are chipping away at the rough-hewn surface of a company or non-profit and exposing the beautiful brand truth that was only waiting to be revealed and have its story well told."

—James Heaton, Brand Truth

James Heaton: "Brands do lie and..."

"Brands do lie and I believe that when they do it is a serious strategic mistake. If, on the other hand the brand derives from the true lived experience of the brand, (brand truth) then the brand will be reinforced and strengthened by every interaction with it. This is how a brand accrues power and longevity. The brand needs to tell a true story."

—James Heaton, Brand Truth

James Heaton: "Advertising is seen by..."

"Advertising is seen by some as beautiful lies. I think that, by way of contrast, branding should be beautiful truth. Not truth with a capital “t,” not philosophical truth, but the act of keeping the brand focus on what is discovered or understood to be essentially true about the organization, product or service."

—James Heaton, Brand Truth

Unknown: "The world needs dreamers..."

"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do."


W. Somerset Maugham: "If you will act..."

"If you will act as if you believed, belief will be granted to you.
If you pray with doubt, but pray with sincerity, your doubt will be dispelled.
If you will surrender yourself to the beauty of liturgy, the power which over the human spirit has been proved by the experience of ages, peace will descend upon you."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham: "Nothing in the world..."

"Nothing in the world is permanent and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we are still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham: "I've never much minded..."

"I’ve never much minded if people thought I was a bit of a fool."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham: "Unfortunately, sometimes one cannot..."

"Unfortunately, sometimes one cannot do what one thinks is right without making someone else unhappy."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham: "If I ever acquire..."

"If I ever acquire wisdom, I suppose I shall be wise enough to know what to do with it."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham: "We who are of..."

"We who are of mature age seldom suspect how unmercifully and yet with what insight the very young judge us."

—W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

Emily Bronte: "He's more myself than..."

"He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same… If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be, and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a might stranger… He’s always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure to myself, but as my own being."

—Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Herman Hesse: "The world is perfect..."

"The world is perfect at every moment.  Every sin already contains grace within it, all little children already have an old person in them, every infant has death within it, and all dying people have within them eternal life. It is not possible to see in another person how far along the way he is. In the bandit & dice player, a Buddha is waiting; in the Brahmin, a bandit. In the depths of meditation lies the possibility of cutting though time, of seeing the simultaneity of all past, present, future life; and within that, everything is good, all is perfect, all is Brahman. Thus I see whatever is as good. I see that life & death, sin & holiness, intelligence & foolishness, must be as they are. It only requires my consent, my willingness, my loving acceptance & it will be good for me, can never harm me. Let it be. Love it. Be glad to be a part."

—Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

Josh Kilmer-Purcell: "Things in New York..."

"Things in New York City sparkle a lot longer than you’d expect before they burn out."

—Josh Kilmer-Purcell, I Am Not Myself These Days

Christopher Moore: "Scratch a cynic and..."

"Scratch a cynic and you’ll find a disappointed romantic."

Christopher MooreThe Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Julia Cho: "It is good to..."

"It is good to be good at the small things, for the larger things can be quite heartbreaking."

Julia Cho, The Piano Teacher

James Heaton: "This is to my..."

"This is to my mind an extremely good illustration of what good branding does as opposed to what advertising typically does, and why branding based on the truth can be so much more effective with so much less money. Good branding involves understanding the truth of a product or service and finding the best ways to communicate this to those naturally receptive to hearing it."

—James Heaton, Life and Pecans: Why Truth Matters

James Heaton: "By telling the true..."

"By telling the true story of [the organization and its products and services], they should almost sell themselves, generating referrals, buzz and PR, not because they are advertised a lot, but because they are truly good and when people find truly good things they spread the word."

—James Heaton, The Business of Demand Creation