Sunday, July 22, 2007

how vain it is to sit down and write

I've always loved quotes and one of my favorites used to be: "How vain it is to sit down and write, when one has not stood up to live!"

My 12-year-old brother turned blue in the face, then chased me all over the house screaming bloody murder, after he found that quote scrawled in red ink across a blank page of his hidden journal. Thank goodness we ran into dad on the staircase …

Many years later, I still feel guilty for reading every private thought my little brother laid bare on those pages. But I've lost my need to pry and would never do anything like that now. (Honest, I wouldn’t!)

However, I've never lost my love of quotes, and thought I’d share a couple of current favorites that I keep around my desk.

  • American writer Williamn Saravon encourages writers to experience life in all its glory! "Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat; and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”
  • Robert Fritz tells us to think outside the box: “If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”
  • And for those moments when everyone else is an idiot, and nothing works out the way you want it to, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wisely reminds: “You can be pleased with nothing, when you are not pleased with yourself.”

What are your favorite quotes? Have you ever read anyone else’s journal? And if so, did you get caught?


Ant said...

Disgraceful bibi! You should be utterly ashamed of yourself for defacing his journal like that... :o)

(Still very funny - that's exactly the kind of shit me and my sister used to pull on each other...)

I like good quotes too - that first of your three strikes a chord. But my favourites of recent times were found here. I'm seriously considering getting the "Ambition" lithograph.

Ian Lidster said...

Delightful stuff, and I can understand your temptation to look at your brother's journal.
Now, for favorite quotes, I cannot remember the name of the source, but it was an elderly English actress, I believe, who wrote:
"As I grow older and older,
and totter towards the tomb,
I find myself caring less and less,
Who does what and with which and to whom."
I think I've finally reached an age in which I appreciate the wisdom of the sentiment.

benjibopper said...

funny you should ask. lately i've been writing down all the best passages from books i read - yeah i'm a bit obsessive. anyway, here's one from that list:

“With poetry you can, perhaps, get by with eating less.”
–Alistair McIntosh, Soil & Soul, 2001

Bibi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bibi said...

Ant, he wasn't quite so innocent ... he read my journal AND dunked my toothbrush in the loo, lol. Love those lithographs; I have a couple myself. Great site too. I'll be checking that out some more.

Ian, lol, that's an excellent quote. It captures the spirit of a well-lived woman!

Benjihopper, if that's true, then I should begin reading poetry tout de suite!! ;-)

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Yes, but the man was dead before I read his journal and it scared the hell out of me (he apparently had a darker side that he kept under wraps).

My favorite Quotes:

"Those who refuse to listen to dragons are probably doomed to spend their days acting out the nightmares of politicians. We like to think we live in daylight but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night." U.K. Le Guin

"Enter These Enchanted Woods, You Who Dare..." George Meredith


"I'm not good. I'm not nice. I'm just right." The Witch out of the musical Into the Woods


Pamela said...

probably not even in the same genre as all above, but I read this one some years ago and have not forgotten it (Although I am not a catholic)

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."
St. Francis of Assisi

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I like your ginger rogers quote.

I have never been caught reading someone's journal. That's not to say I don't do it.

Bibi said...

Yaz, good job he did keep his darker side hidden! I love the witches quote. ;-)

Pamela, ah, very true of many aspects of life.

Ultra Toast, yeah, I like Ginger's comment too, one of my all time faves: "If you don't stand for somthing, you'll fall for anything." And may you never get caught, lol ....

Cazzie!!! said...

Two of my favourites are here...

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family live under the same roof." (Richard Bach)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Suess

And there are a few from my fav book The Power of Now by Echhardt Tolle...but too many to mention I reckon!

peteknowles said...

Ahem ... I would NEVER read someone else's journal. At least if I did, I wouldn't leave any evidence behind. My favorite quote is 'let no man judge lest he himself be judged'. Some of those folks on Fox News should pay attention to that!

John Ivey said...

I can't say that I have ever had the opportunity to read another's journal, so I really cannot comment on that subject. But as far as quotes, the one that seems to sum up my life is Frederick Nietzsche's "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Also, I just recently ran across Paul Anderson's thought provoking quote: "Think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt."

On a totally unrelated subject, I'm finally getting around to commenting on your procrastination post. I must submit that I am occasionally guilty of said offense, but I cannot recall a particular instance.

Thanks once again, Bibi, for a great article and also those of you who shared your own favorite quotes. I particularly liked the comment on Fox news.

dinahmow said...

I'm with you on the Ginger Rogers one, Bibi.
And my own original (up for grabs,people!): "A little hedonism is healthy."

No, I have never read a private diary.Never found one lying about to tempt me!

Bibi said...

Cazzie, love your Dr. Seuss quote! I just put it on my screensaver.

Pete, lol, I hear you!

John, both very powerful quotes. My grandmother quoted the first one a lot and it's so true.

Dinahmow, alright! An original ... like it. How about this (not original but another of my favorites):
"Well-behaved women never make history!"

lisage said...

Blogger won't let me get this posted!!

Can't recall exact phrasing but it's the Native American saying about not owning the earth, but we've inherited for our children.

Kiyotoe said...

i've read a couple of my ex-girlfriends journals while we were together (but that didn't have anything to do with why they are exes.....i swear).

"The Wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win" - Zhuge Liang