Sunday, August 29, 2010

Come on, people, use your brains for once

All quotes from StoryPeople

Sometimes the only thing to do is to start looking at everything again until you forget what you're supposed to see & actually see what's there

Why do you tell the truth? my son asked & I thought about it for awhile & finally I said, Because human beings get mixed up easier than dogs & plants & fishes. What if you're someone who doesn't get mixed up? he said. Go ahead & lie, I said & then I hit him with a pillow just because I knew he was thinking about doing that anyway.

I need someone to invent a mirror that leaves out some of the details, she said.

My new rules for living simply (continued) 4. Get a uniform. I like t-shirts & pajama bottoms. This is my sleep uniform. This is how my life works. You may need a different uniform for the way your life works. When you find a piece of clothing you like, buy 6 more. This way you have one for every day of the week. Tell everyone you know that's what you did. Tell them it's your uniform. That way you don't have to change every day. Most people just assume you're putting on clean clothes. But, really, you only have to change if you get food on yourself, or if you start to stink

I'm thinking of going to school, he said to us, so I can meet some new people. You know me too well to appreciate how much I suffer any more.

Is convinced there's something we can learn from the animals, but so far all she can think of is that you should shut up when someone's got you on a leash.

She turned to me & whispered, don't you just love it when you get so excited you forget to breathe? & the thought of her smiling eyes still makes me laugh.

relaxing in short bursts in the sun because she forgot to sunscreen

everybody's dancing in place because they don't want to mess up the house since it just got cleaned

Things to know about the future. #1: It doesn't have to look any particular way, but around here, if it doesn't, a lot of people will never speak to you again

I read a story once about someone who went around trading people's troubles for any new ones they wanted & in the end, they decided to keep the ones they had already & all I could think was, Come on, people, use your brains for once

good at delegating anxiety so nobody sleeps all that well around here

I still remember the day the world took you back & there was never time to thank you for the thousand scattered moments you left behind to watch us while we slept.

It's not a personal world, he told me, no matter how much of it recognizes you on the street.

I predict the future a lot, she said to me, & I'm never surprised when I'm right, but that's because knowing it all has been one of my issues from the very beginning

this guy's head is on fire, but it wouldn't be so bad if he didn't keep fanning it when it starts to die out

It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space & she still laughs & grapples with ideas & plans & nods wisely with each of us in turn. We are proud to have known her. We are proud to have called her friend.

You don't have to be a bundle of contradictions to be a woman, she said. But we all agreed it helps

It gets real cluttered in here when everybody talks at once, she said

I carry you with me into the world,
into the smell of rain
& the words that dance between people
& for me, it will always be this way,
walking in the light,
remembering being alive together

This is a machine that guarantees it can keep teenagers interested in the world around them & while a lot of people are showing up to check it out, you'll notice not a lot of them are teenagers.

I used to hate birthdays, she told me, until I figured out I was the Queen of the Universe & now I do them for the little people.

Once she told me she was an ocean person & when she combed her fingers through the seaweed she heard the songs of the mermaids & it was easy to believe all the old stories.

I try not to get too close, he said. From a distance almost everything looks real.

this is a picture of the future & you'll notice that there's a lot of blank space because people haven't made up their minds about it & the future doesn't have a lot of time for that kind of indecisiveness


this is all i’ve ever known. a nervous mix of commas and spaces, sometimes words but mostly moments and faces. and the way i can’t help but love helplessly and desperate. and how can i show you? how can i show you what it’s like being here on the other end of this invisible dotted line? with all of these moments fermenting in a place without reasons and apologies, feeling things that might not mean anything after we’re gone, trying to call them unconditional in a place that’s temporary. this is hard. the stakes are high and our bets are weak, so are we playing it safe or playing for keeps? all i know is this fucking clumsy infatuation, this careful fascination. and you said i was mysterious and evasive. you told me to find you when i was ready to give life a shot and it left me broken hearted. you thought it was because i didn’t know if i ever would be, and i knew it was because you really believed i never was. i know you think you know me. like all i have are soft-spoken experiences, like i was an idealist left broken-spirited. well you can count your loud and pounding, your ever-lasting and astounding. you think i’m scared and predictable. and maybe i am. maybe you were right. because i didn’t kiss you when i would have liked to, and i didn’t dance when you wanted to, and i don’t like to get my hair wet in the rain. but you’re not so brave, you’re not so reckless. you’re lonely too. i love whole-heartedly and you love sporadically. you take risks and aren’t afraid to kiss strangers and laugh when you want to and that’s beautiful - but you think it’s sad that i’m selective about what moments i want to experience before i let them slip past me. the kind of moments that you’ll always miss. the kind of moments you’ll always forget. and i think it’s sad that you’ll never get that i’m doing the same thing as you. loving everything fully. and i may love them quiet, but i love them dead-on. i love them soul for soul, word for word, comma for comma. and what about you? the stakes are high and your bets are weak.

so who’s playing it safe and who’s playing for keeps?
--Ashli Wood

Where do we go from here?

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
--James Dent

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives…and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
--Hunter S. Thompson

“With her white hair and her white dress she was so white that she looked silver.”
--Sylvia Plath

"The other day I was down by the Hudson River, and I see two nuns in full habit rollerblading down the street holding hands. And I'm like, 'Oh, my God, I get it. The world is surreal and beautiful. And everything is fine.'"
--Regina Spektor

“It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, and nitrogen, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. So forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”
--Lawerence Krauss

"Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there--I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. . . . Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television."
--Andy Warhol, 1975

"A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again."
--Margare Mead

“I don’t think that a lot of women today are feminine, feminine, feminine. I think most women have both sides to them; they are forced to. Because we’re working, and we are not only mothers and girlfriends and wives, we identify with all of that; I think men do too. It is a false myth that women are this and men are that; I think there is a balance in everyone.”
--Stella McCartney

"I know it sounds ridiculous, but I like disappearing."
--Keira Knightley

"How private you are
In the minds of everyone
I salute you
Brave spirit
Who has swallowed so much
And tasted so little."
--Leonard Cohen, 'During The Day: An Excerpt'

“‎It appeared that nobody ever said a thing they meant, or talked of a feeling they felt, but that was what music was for.”
--Virginia Woolf

“And that was what now she often felt the need of — to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.”
--Virginia Woolf, 'To The Lighthouse'

"I was never interested in the obvious, or in the details one takes for granted, and everybody seemed to be addicted to the obvious, being astonished by it, and forever harping about the details which I had long ago weighted, measured, and discarded as irrelevant and useless. If you can measure it, don’t. If you can weigh it, it isn’t worth the bother. It isn’t what you’re after. It isn’t going to get it. My wisdom was visual and as swift as vision. I looked, I saw, I understood, I felt, “That’s that, where do we go from here?”"
--William Saroyan, 'Here Comes There Goes You Know Who'

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience."
--Shauna Niequist

This is life in all its glory.

All quotes by author Shauna Niequist

"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines, and sing out loud in the car with the windows open, and wear pink shoes, and stay up all night laughing, and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and eat ripe tomatoes, and read books so good they make me jump up and down."

"Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted."

"To all the secret writers, late-night painters, would-be singers, lapsed and scared artists of every stripe, dig out your paintbrush, or your flute, or your dancing shoes. Pull out your camera or your computer or your pottery wheel. Today, tonight, after the kids are in bed or when your homework is done, or instead of one more video game or magazine, create something, anything. Pick up a needle and thread, and stitch together something particular and honest and beautiful, because we need it. I need it. Thank you, and keep going."

"The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that's been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground and listen for it."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

She's the quietest girl I've ever seen.

“Just because as human beings, what we can’t have is what we replay in our head over and over again before we go to sleep.”
--Taylor Swift

“Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about and what to get rid of. And you know when it’s time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete. Because you know it’s never too late to have a life. And never too late to change one.”
--Nike Advertisement

“Love is essential to the decoration of a house … A room must say, ‘My love is here,’ or ‘My love has just left,’ or ‘I’m waiting for my love to arrive.’”
--Madeline Castaing

“People sometimes say that the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television — you don’t feel anything.”
--Andy Warhol

Dance. And one day you'll stop walking.

It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.

“The sea, the stars, the night wind in waste places, mean more to me than even the human beings I love best.”
--Bertrand Russell

Transform anxiety into excitement, focus not on the fear of what lies ahead but the possibilities you might create.

"When the woman you live with is an artist, every day is a surprise."
--Audrey Niffenegger

"If it ain't a pleasure, it ain't a poem."
--William Carlos Williams

“People divide the South from the North at the Mason Dixon Line, but I’ve always thought the real marker is the sweet tea line.”
--Tommy Tomlinson

"Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss."
--'Eat, Pray, Love'

"She never speaks. She's so elusive. She's so mystical. I can't even imagine what her voice sounds like. You never hear her coming up behind you on the garden path when she's out walking . . . she moves as silently as the breeze. She must be in a constant state of meditative communion with God. She's the quietest girl I've ever seen."
--'Eat, Pray, Love'

"With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go."
--'Eat, Pray, Love'

My thoughts tend to sound better in books I didn’t write, and in the songs I didn’t sing. Even then, sometimes there is no piece of literature, no song, no work of art that can really explain the way you feel. There is a double-edge comfort in knowing that no one really knows.

“No one ever tells you that you’re never going to feel grown up.”

“My mother taught me to focus on being myself and not to worry what other people think about you. I know that as long as I’m a good person I’ll stay on the right path. From my dad I learned that when someone tells you “No” it’s only the beginning of a conversation. They both have always let me know that I can do anything I want to do as long as I don’t give up. They are the most important role models in my life because they are exactly who I want to be when I grow up. They are supportive and understanding and I try every day to remember what they’ve taught me.”
--Lauren Conrad

“My goal has always been not to look forward to the next thing, but to relish and celebrate the successes I have at the moment. Whether it’s landing a part in a student film or having a good day in acting class, I never discredit anything. I believe in rewarding yourself too. With every job I’ve gotten, I’ve bought myself something. When Glee was picked up, I rented a piano for the year. For smaller victories, I’ll go to dinner with a friend, or go for a walk and think about it all. It’s important to say to yourself, Today was a good day.”
--Dianna Agron

"I've learned that it doesn't matter how your husband squeezes the toothpaste, the important thing is how he squeezes you."
--H. Jackson Brown Jr.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."
--Mary Jean Iron

“I am learning how to be alone without being lonely, learning how to be lonely without losing my mind.”
--Paul Baribeau

"Our language, Tiger, our language, hundreds of thousands of available words, frillions of possible legitimate new ideas, so that I can say this sentence and be confident it has never been uttered before in the history of human communication: “Hold the newsreader’s nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.” One sentence, common words, but never before placed in that order. And yet, oh and yet, all of us spend our days saying the same things to each other, time after weary time, living by clichaic, learned response: “I love you”, “Don’t go in there”, “You have no right to say that”, “shut up”, “I’m hungry”, “that hurt”, “why should I?”, “it’s not my fault”, “help”, “Marjorie is dead”. You see? That surely is a thought to take out for a cream tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
--Stephen Fry

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
--Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Learn to float.

“Because I know in my life, the movies I watch and the music I listen to and the books I read - those are important to me. It’s very important to me, and I don’t know what I would do without those things. And so to be a part of that exchange is about as meaningful to me as anything I can think of.”
--Joseph Gordon Levitt

''It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.''
--George Horace Lorimer

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better."
--Albert Camus

I feel like when she moves, the time doesn’t.

There is no such thing as bad weather only bad attitudes.

"A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them."
--Hardy Amies

"You are the music, while the music lasts."
--T.S. Eliot

"We laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged, it was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn’t think about my life at all."
--Jonathan Safran Foer, 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'

“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.”
--Jane Austen

“It always fascinates me how people go from loving you madly, to nothing at all… nothing. It hurts so much. When I feel someone is going to leave me I have a tendency to break up first before I get to hear the whole thing. Here it is, one more one less, another wasted love story. I really loved this one.”
--Marion, '2 Days in Paris'

“We were just talking about those American Apparel ads. They’re fucking gross, man. Look, I love beautiful girls too. I think everyone should be free to have their knee socks and their sweaty shorts, but I’m over it. I’m over this weird, exhausted girl. I’m over the girl that’s tired and freezing and hungry. I like bossy girls, I always have. I like people filled with life. I’m over this weird media thing with all this, like, hollow-eyed, empty, party crap.”
--Amy Poehler

"Memories mean more to me than dresses."
--Anne Frank

"This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale."
--Nikos Kazantzakis

"I am rooted, but I flow."
--Virginia Woolf

"Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning."
--John Steinbeck

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside."
--Mark Twain

Learn to float. Both in water and in life.

“Why should it be easy..? Why should love be easy? I’m the work of your life & you’re the work of mine.”
--'The Last Station'