Tag Archives: quotes

Sad Lines (#19)

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I have been working 11 hours a day – and 3 weekends in a row. Next week I go on to emergency/ after-hours whereby I am expected to be on the floor from 10pm – 8am within the small animal hospital, or 4pm – 8am if I am on an equine shift. To say I am exhausted is an understatement. I have been fore-going sleep in order to maintain my social life as much as I am able. Last friday night some friends from church and I handed out dinner to the homeless on the streets then caught up over ice cream. And despite having to work in the morning over the weekend, I spent my afternoons reading at the beach and having wine and cheese and learning about sailing from some new friends. I am absolutely exhausted, and I probably look just as terrible. But things will be ok – I will take them as they come.

I haven’t really had time to read for leisure very much, or to write. So here are some sad lines from literature that touched my heart – even though I am not particularly sad at the moment. I think that whilst sadness shouldn’t be romanticised and placed on a pedestal, it is something that must be acknowledged and embraced. There are few emotions that we will feel as often, as deeply or as tangibly in this life, so surely learning to embrace it like an old friend would make our journey on this little blue dot just that much more meaningful.

“Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”
– Pablo Neruda
“She vanished without a trace, swept away by the flow of time and it’s flood of people”
– Haruki Murakami
“It’s strange. I felt less lonely when I didn’t know you.”
– Jean Paul Sartre
“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”
– Jonathan Safran Foer
“We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
“Your only problem, perhaps, is that you scream without letting yourself cry.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
“I didn’t leave because I stopped loving you, I left because the longer I stayed the less I loved myself.” – Rupi Kaur
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.” – Amy Tan

People often say that the saddest word is “almost”: the notion of things that might have been; of opportunities missed and words unsaid: of regret. But there are so many ways in which “almost” is happy: “He almost did not survive the night”, “I almost decided not to go to the party where I met you”, “I almost lost the courage to call.”

I therefore think the saddest phrase is “It should have been you”. It is heartbreaking no matter which context I put it in. Whether walking down the aisle with the wrong man, or a mother grieving the loss of the son she cared more for.

Jolyn

10 lines & a song (Fickle Friday #38)

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10 lines from books that I do and do not own, and a song:

“Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”
– David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

“Her legs swing complete afternoons away.”
– Jill Eisenstadt, From Rockaway

But to pay attention is to love everything.”
– Sarah Manguso, The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir

“There’s a fine line between thinking about somebody and thinking about not thinking about somebody, but I have the patience and the self-control to walk that line for hours – days, if I have to.”
– Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

“For you, a thousand times over”
– Khaled Housseini, The Kite Runner

“Between the hammers our hearts endure, just as the tongue does between the teeth and, despite that, still is able to praise.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To a Young Poet

“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”
– J.D Salinger, Nine stories

“Laboring over a simple word, almost redeemed by what he tried to say.”
– Yusef Komunyakaa, My Father’s Love Letters

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act II, Scene II

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Tell me things that no one knows/ where does all your sorrow go/
lacing digits, touching toes/ where does all your sorrow go

Jolyn

Religion of Pi

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“There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.”

“Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.”

“It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them – and then they leap. I’ll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on.

To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”

― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Just a few quotes on religion from the literary masterpiece that is Life of Pi: possibly my favourite book thus far. A true writer does not merely create new ideas in elaborate sounding ways. The writers that most impress me are the ones able to put everything that we all feel, but are incapable of expressing in literary form, into words. They words resonate within you and makes you point a finger at a piece of paper dotted with ink going “There! That is what I have been trying to say all along! I just hadnt known it, or how!”

Also, if you were wondering, things have gotten better, I have gotten much better. Thanks, friends.

Jol