Mar. 25, 1997

The Prayer of the Cat

by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold

The Prayer of the Elephant

by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold


Today's Reading:"The Prayer of the Cat" and "The Prayer of the Elephant" by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold translated by Rumer Godden from PRAYERS FROM THE ARK, published by Viking Penguin (1992).

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel is supposed to have revealed to Mary that she would bear Christ nine months later.

In Netherlands today the famous Tulip Show begins in Vogelenzang, with spring flowers on display in the gardens and glass houses through the end of May.

It's the birthday of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, born in Memphis on this day in 1942.

Journalist and feminist leader Gloria Steinem was born on this day in Toledo, Ohio, 1934.

It's the birthday of novelist and short-story writer (Mary) Flannery O'Connor (A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND; EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE), born in Savannah, Georgia, 1925. She died of lupus in 1964 at the age of 39.

It's the anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire at a sweatshop in New York City in 1911. The fire killed 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women, minutes before they were to go home. The doors of the 9th floor were locked causing many to jump to their deaths.

Film director David Lean (BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI; LAWRENCE OF ARABIA; DR ZHIVAGO; A PASSAGE TO INDIA) was born on this day in Croydon, England, 1908.

It's the birthday of the man who carved Mount Rushmore, sculptor Gutzon Borglum, born in Bear Lake, Idaho, 1867.

Conductor Arturo Toscanini was born in Parma, Italy, on this day in 1868. He made his conducting debut at the age of 19 with an Italian opera company, filling in for an ailing colleague.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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