: to attract and hold the attention of (someone) by being interesting, pretty, etc.




Captivate (v.): 1520s, “to enthrall with charm,” from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of captivareto take, capture,” from captivus (captive). Literal sense (1550s) is rare or obsolete in English, which uses capture. Latin captareto take, hold” also a transferred sense of “to entice, entrap, allure.”



“I’m always captivated by stories of women who find a way of being daring – misbehaving women.”

Sue Monk Kidd (b. 1963, author who was raised in Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced her writing; best known for her first novel, “The Secret Life of Bees”)

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“It is a common enough case, that of a man being suddenly captivated by a woman nearly the opposite of his ideal.”

George Eliot (1819-1880, pseudonym of Mary Ann or Marian, Cross née Evans, English Victorian novelist who developed the method of psychological analysis characteristic of modern fiction; her major works include “Middlemarch” and “Adam Bede”)

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“Talent grips us. We are overtaken by the beauty of Michelangelo’s sculpture, riveted by Mariah Carey’s angelic voice, doubled over in laughter by the comedy of Robin Williams, and captivated by the on screen performances of Denzel Washington.”

John C. Maxwell (b. 1947, American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books that focused on leadership)

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“As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.”

Mary Oliver (b. 1935, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet; Maxine Kumin wrote in the “Women’s Review of Books” that Oliver “stands quite comfortably on the margins of things, on the line between the earth and sky, the thin membrane that separates human from what we loosely call animal.”)

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“I’ve met and sketched most of the great athletes from the past five decades and their movement, grace and energy have kept me captivated over the years. That’s what the ancient Greeks first saw and that’s what caught my interest.”

LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012, artist known for his expressionist figurative paintings and screen prints of sports figures and events and musicians; he was also the official artist at five Olympiads.)

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“As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.”

— Mary Oliver


What captivates and inspires us?  What captivated us as children?  The answers may lead us to our unique life missions.

When I was a child I loved art, writing, and reading science fiction and mysteries.   I was fortunate, even in the midst of challenges, to have people around me, particularly very astute women, who who took the time to know me.

My mother, for instance, knew I loved art, so she encouraged me do art however I could.  Some of my joyous memories was going to the five and dime stores and getting art supplies.  I also loved it when she sat with me and my sisters and colored with crayons.  She sometimes shaded lightly, but other times she would really take her time and color deeply, leaving an almost velvet-like texture in our coloring books pictures.

My mother not only nurtured my creative abilities, but she immersed all of us in music, whether it was through her beauty soprano opera voice or in countless violin, piano, and dance lessons.

My mother, her mother, and my father’s mother provided all of us children with ample opportunities to acquire new cognitive and creative skills.  Life, at that time, was magical and captured my attention and imagination.  I was never bored.

My paternal grandmother, now 97 years of age, has a sharp mind and keen intuition when it comes to all of her children.  Nana knew, for instance, that my sister, Evelyn, loved science and math.  One of the most extraordinary gifts Nana gave was an architectural set where Evelyn could build huge model skyscrapers.  It was quite spectacular gift to give a little girl in the mid-1960s.

Two amazing Christmas gifts Nana gave me were: 1) a “Light Bright” set, a light box that came with pre-drawn paper designs and also honey-cone screen where I, as the child, could place colorful pegs in to make light-filled vivid designs; and 2) a small loom where I could weave a rug.

Art, music, beauty, science fiction films, the metaphysical possibilities of our world and spirituality continues to captivate, excite, and inspire me.

Sojourners, continue to look for the wonders of this world that captivate you!

Faithfully Yours, Tonya




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