Global Proverbs and Quotes

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something. Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.  I hope you will too.

A quirky proverb, this week from Iceland:
The fox lurks in his hole gnawing the whitened bone -Icelandic proverb

and a quote from the Author of ‘Out of Africa’:

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)

Something to Ponder About Today


6 thoughts on “Global Proverbs and Quotes”

  1. Not too sure if I’m getting both these quotes this week. The first quote: I’m sort of thinking that we can only get so far if we stay in one spot. There is only so much we can learn from being in one place. Or perhaps the quote means we are waiting, waiting for opportunities to come…when in fact we can be out there creating our own opportunities.

    The second quote: It sounds refreshing. I’ve always never thought too highly of salt water in the sea – drink it and it will never quench your thirst. However, thinking about it in terms of bodily fluids or fluids generated as a result of our emotions is fascinating.


    1. I am also a bit unsure of the proverbial meaning of these, Mabel and that is partly why I posted them. Iceland has a tradition of poverty in historic times, and I am wondering if it is some reference to the nature of the fox, that it mentions “lurking.” After all, the fox is a predator but also somewhat a scavenger. I also think your suggestion that the fox is waiting for opportunities is sound. I suppose we might need an Icelandic opinion to clarify it beyond doubt. I really liked the second quote. Many things can be cured by sweat, (exercise, or a fever), salty water (for wounds or infections etc) and tears can be the way our bodies starts healing themselves and their emotions, when we grieve. The more I think about this quote the more profound it becomes. I suppose Karen Blixen had to sort out many problems when faced with living in Africa on her own. Thanks for a great comment!


      1. Thank you, Amanda. You explained the quotes very well. A predator can’t always have what it wants no matter how strong or its status. It has to bide its time, waiting for the next opportunity to strike…but it may never come and that’s time wasted. Would really love to hear someone who has lived in Iceland explain this quote.

        The best cure always comes from within us. When nature is “angry”, even big waves and torrential rain are sights to behold. When we sweat, we cool ourselves down. When we cry out of sadness, often that goes to some way towards feeling within. Expression cures, in other words.


  2. Two intriguing quotes, although I’m finding the meanings rather obscure. The first one, I feel, could relate to persitence – staying put and working at something until satisfied we’ve got as much out of it as possible. On the other hand, the word ‘lurk’ suggests lying in waiting for the time to make another strike and find fresh meat (as in the literal reference to the fox) or humans waiting for fresh opportunities to arise.
    The second quote to me is only partially true. Sweat can refer to physicall activity/exercise – always good for getting the adrenaline going and giving us that ‘feel-good’ factor. Or it couldd refer to a new job that brings in much needed cash. Tears can give vent to pent-up emotions, thereby lessening the pain and enabling us to move on. And the sea could refer to travel – pastures new etc.Or perhaps to the freshness of the briny air and cleansing properties of salt water. Salt (NaCl)is also a much needed element in the body.
    I’m probably way off track with all this surmising, but it’s the best I can come up with right now.


    1. Millie, I love your interpretation of the Icelandic proverb. I am sure it is about persistence and also a slightly sinister persistence. I had not thought if this angle before. As for the second, I agree with your suggestions but am not sure why you feel it is only partially true?


  3. I thought /said it was only partially true because I’m not sure whether the things mentioned as cures really are the only ‘cures for anything’. But come to think of it, if you asked me to name other types of cures, I’d be hard pushed to name them. Perhaps I should have a rethink… Salt water comes out tops.

    Liked by 1 person

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