May you all have a great Sunday!
Ever since high school, I’ve jotted down quotes and passages from books, magazine articles, TV shows and movies I’ve watched, people I’ve met and even overheard conversations of random people in various notebooks that I’ve been lugging around with me ever since. But with the advent of Facebook and the various incarnations of social media (like this blog), my tendency to record stuff has tapered off, which is really a pity because jotting things down was sort of how I kept track of things that happened in my life (“Ahh! Wrote this while I was having coffee with whatshername and she told me about that thing with whatshisface…” stuff like that) or was a good creative source whenever I feel blocked about what I’m writing — which is what is happening now, actually. However, this past weekend, after updating my phone’s software, I was scrolling through my notes, and it turns out I’ve been jotting down or taking photos of random stuff and I just haven’t really realized it. So I’m putting them here, before I delete them forever from the phone. Warning, some are sappy, some are wise, some I’ve posted on my Instagram or posted on Facebook, some are funny and some are just plain, “huh?”
I detected instantly that she didn’t like me. It’s a fact of life that a girl can tell in a flash if another girl likes her. Feely says that there is a broken telephone connect between men and women, and we can never know which of us rang off. With a boy you never know whether he’s smitten or gagging, but with a girl you can tell in the first three seconds. Between girls there is a silent and unending flow of invisible signals, like the high-frequency wireless messages between the shore and the ships at sea, and this secret flow of dots and dashes was signaling that Mary detested me. — young Flavia Sabine de Luce, aspiring chemist and protagonist of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
There are lots of writers who tell it like it is, but only a few who, with such commitment and intensity, tell it like it isn’t. King takes the weird and gives it weight. And yet, at the same time, his novels retain a lightness, a playfulness. They show us horrible things, but they also glow, I think, with King’s joy—with his pleasure and exhilaration in imagining.” — from the article, “What Stephen King isn’t”, Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker
[image borrowed from http://www.telegraph.co.uk ]
Since it’s a Monday and we all need reminding about how to live life the best way we know how. Read the link for the full list.
Some important ones for me, because these are the lessons that are hardest to follow:
2. Be happy now.
Not because The Secret says so. Not because of some shiny happy Oprah crap. But because we can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture — but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.
3. Look at the stars.
It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily — it helps.
4. Let people in.
Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed — or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half way. Go all in — it’s worth it.
7. Practice gratitude.
Practice it out loud to the people around you. Practice it silently when you bless your food. Practice it often. Gratitude is not a first world only virtue. I saw a photo recently, of a girl in abject poverty, surrounded by filth and destruction. Her face was completely lit up with joy and gratitude as she played with a hula hoop she’d been given. Gratitude is what makes what we have enough. Gratitude is the most basic way to connect with that sense of being an integral part of the vastness of the universe; as I mentioned with looking up at the stars, it’s that sense of wonder and humility, contrasted with celebrating our connection to all of life.
Augustus glanced away from the screen ever so briefly. “You look nice,” he said. I was wearing this just-past-the-knees dress I’d had forever. “Girls think they’re only allowed to wear dresses on formal occasions, but I like a woman who says, you know, I’m going over to see a boy who is having a nervous breakdown, a boy who’s connection to the sense of sight itself is tenuous, and gosh dang it, I am going to wear a dress for him.“
— The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
I’m only on page 56 of this novel and I’m already loving it. Funny, irreverent, with a wide streak of sadness running through the narrative (it’s about teenagers who have cancer who fall in love — at least I assume; I haven’t gotten to that part yet), it’s one of the rare books that has made me laugh out loud in glee this year. I can’t wait to read what happens to Hazel Grace and Augustus. I am preparing myself for lots of crying before the story is over, but I’m rooting for the kids anyway.
Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.”
— Nicole Sobon, Program 13
Why else do we read fiction, anyway? Not to be impressed by somebody’s dazzling language—or at least I hope that’s not our reason. I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not ‘true’ because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: The mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about ourself.”
— Orson Scott Card, from the introduction of Ender’s Game
By the way, the latest trailer for the movie is kick-ass awesome and Asa Butterfield looks like how I envisioned Ender to be! Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the movie, I personally can’t wait to watch it!
Some gems from this link:
“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” – Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami
“Women fall in love when they get to know you. Men are just the opposite. When they finally know you they’re ready to leave.” — Dusk and Other Stories, James Salter
“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.” — Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” — The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.”
“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.” — The Dying Animal, Philip Roth
“Heads or tails,” Rachel mumbled.
Vigor smiled at her. “So much of life and death is random chance.”
“Not if you trust who is flipping the coins.”
She rolled her eyes at him.
He pressed his point. “There are a thousand paths into the future, forks after forks in the road ahead. Who knows, if one road closes, maybe another opens in another universe…and your soul, your consciousness, leaps over to continue that journey ever forward, always finding the right path.”
Still, Rachel considered those paths left behind, of possibilities that would be gone forever. A flicker of sadness pierced through her, as though she had lost dear friends.
“You see,” Vigor said, drawing her attention back. “There’s always a path forward.”
“To where?” she asked.
Vigor pushed open the door, blinding her with the brightness of the new day. “Everywhere.”
— The Eye of God, James Rollins