It’s kind of scary how people really don’t believe in torture. Terrorism is such an abstract notion that when people find out we really may be torturing, it almost makes them say it’s OK because that sounds as abstract as terrorism.

—Susan Tarman, antiques appraiser and head of the Santa Fe chapter of Amnesty International, Jan. 16, 2008

You know, you have to put your faith that you’re doing the right thing. If you don’t stand up for what’s right, nobody else is going to.

—Angela Daffron, advocate for tightening anti-stalking legislation through Jodi’s Law, Feb. 13, 2008

I enjoy sharing my point of view. It’s like somebody singing in the bathroom, not worrying who listens or what they think. Some people like the song.

—Deepak Chopra, author of more than 40 books about wellness, peace and spirituality, March 12, 2008

I think that [young poets] have got to read and write. You have to read everyone and imitate people and then you have to write constantly. Beyond that, you have to be exposed to the world.

—Valerie Martínez, poet, playwright, College of Santa Fe professor and Santa Fe’s poet laureate, April 9, 2008

What I know about Ed Abbey was that if he was your buddy, he would back you to the hilt, right down the line, man. We both had the same model and caliber pistols and ammo. So that if it came down to it, we could deal the best we could.

—Jack Loeffler, author of Adventures with Ed: A Portrait of Abbey, May 21, 2008

…I had an easier time putting four countries together than putting money together for a production here. That’s the truth.

—Craig Barnes, co-founder of Santa Fe theater company the Red Thread Collective, who also worked for more than a decade as a peace negotiator in the Soviet Union, June 4, 2008

I thought when I was a kid that I’d like to invent a helmet that would have electrodes that checked your brain out. You’d put this hat on and it would see if your mind was in the proper shape to be driving. I thought that would be a good invention, but then I figured it out: We wouldn’t have anybody driving because everybody’s mind would be off somewhere else.

—Eric Parnes, defensive driving instructor, July 23, 2008

I guess the reason that anybody writes music is so they can create the music that they want to hear. I’m a rock ’n’ roller at heart.

—Jason Reed, host of the Pub & Grill at Santa Fe Brewing Company’s Open Mic Night, Aug. 13, 2008

The hand of destiny played a big part in putting George W Bush in the White House in 2000. As I saw it in the chart, nothing was going to stop that from happening. It was almost a decree that was meant to be.

—Arielle Guttman, professional reader of star charts, horoscopes and predictions and host of workshops on political astrology, Sept. 10, 2008

I’m peeved when someone butters the whole piece of bread and takes a bite, as opposed to breaking off a bite-sized piece. That, and just leaving silverware willy-nilly all over the plate when you’re finished. There are positions for them. If you’re dining American, when you’re finished, you bring them together around 3 o’clock. That’s called closeout. If you’re dining Continental—the way the rest of the world eats—eat with the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right. When you’re resting, your silverware is in a triangle at 7 and 4, and you closeout at 6.

—Bizia Greene, etiquette teacher and founder of the Etiquette School of Santa Fe, Oct. 15, 2008

To walk through an aspen grove is to be inside an organism…At a vibratory level—we’re talking field theory—it’s like a field of gravity. We each have a vibrational magnetic field. When we allow ourselves to exchange those electronic atoms and molecules, it settles the system.

—Larry Glover, resiliency expert and wilderness guide, Nov. 12, 2008

One stable adult really makes a difference [in a kid’s life]. That’s what this program provides; it provides a stable person who will always be here…Having that adult that a youth knows that they can trust, that there’s no judgment, is often the first line of defense before somebody hits the street.

—Lizzy Lyons, program director of the Youth Shelters Street Outreach program, Dec. 10, 2008