We’re all familiar with picture collages. Years ago, a professor presented a challenge that I should probably take on more often, that of creating a collage of quotes from my own writing. Looking at portions of my own work cut and pasted together in such a manner gave me a fresh outlook on my voice as a writer. Today, I took the time to create another collage. This one is made up entirely of quotes from things I have said on Facebook. It has certainly helped me get to know myself a little bit better. Maybe it will help you get to know me a bit better too.

Faces of Me

Faces of Me

On making amends:

“Make amends while you can. I realize there are times when you need some space from someone close to you, but don’t let a week turn into years of no communication. If that person reaches out a hand of reconciliation, grasp it. You never know how little time there is to make amends. You never know when an ICU visit will be the last visit you ever get or if a phone call in the middle of the night will be the call that tells you it’s too late. Relationships matter. Pick up the phone. Send that email. Drop a letter in the mail. Do it now, even if it means swallowing your pride. Tomorrow might be too late.”

On myself (all grown up):

“Remember that wide-eyed 19-year-old named Marie Stratford who never imagined she wouldn’t make it as a writer and editor? I need to channel some of her confidence.”

On giving and receiving criticism:

“As much as we’d like to think that emotion doesn’t cloud feedback or our reception of it–it does.”

On coexisting:

“If I merely disagree with someone . . . then let’s just agree to ignore each other civilly. Isn’t that the way most of us dealt with living next to our neighbors through the 70s, 80s and 90s?”

On making memories:

“For me, the process of framing and taking photos in my neighborhood or on vacations actually seals the memories in my mind far into the future and much longer and more accurately than the memories of experiences when I didn’t have my camera along.”

On Bristol Palin:

“I think there are ways to be a feminist (and a kind human being) without condoning [Bristol Palin’s] double standards. That young lady needs someone to firmly explain to her about the birds and the bees while including scientific information about various methods of birth control. Abstinence-only education is only successful for those who can actually manage to adhere to abstinence.”

On taking Scripture literally:

“Sometimes I fantasize about becoming a street preacher who stands on busy corners and raves against those wearing poly-cotton blends. Then I realize I wouldn’t have anything to wear.”

On slut-shaming:

“I have never heard someone get annoyed with those who don’t want to be given a full view of a plumber’s crack. Do we have to look at thongs just because they happen to be worn by women?”

On social media:

“I mentioned to Conja last night that I sort of miss the days when you could know someone for years without knowing what their political views were.”


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