The Quote Hanger

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."
- George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Hello, good morning, how you do/What makes your rising sun so new?"

Another year, another bout of amazement at how quickly time seems to stride past.

I always plan to write about the things that I have observed or experienced over the year, but never quite get around to it. This year, I seem to have begun, but am quite unsure about how to go about it. It all seems like a pleasant blur. But one of the foremost things that I have learnt towards the end of this year is that where I will be tomorrow, or the day after or the next year, is not set in stone. There are no guarantees, no comfy predictions, and no 'foolproof' plans - and there is nothing more exhilarating than that. Clich├ęd, yes, but carpe effing diem indeed!

Happy new year!

". . . I hope you're done with yesterday,
All the things we've heard have left and made their way,

Say goodbye to your sorrow,
And hello to tomorrow!"

- Wolfmother, 'Tales'

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Best Medicine

It's strange how you spot and retain little bits of insight from the most unlikely places. About two months ago, I was reading a lengthy interview of Anne Hathway's in 'Marie Claire.' She had apparently been in an approximately four year long relationship, which came to an abrupt halt when the man in question was imprisoned. A little while later, for her appearance on a talk-show, Hathway wrote and performed a humorous rap song, wherein there was a light-hearted reference to her former relationship. The interviewer seemed surprised by her ability to almost immediately joke about what must have certainly been an immensely traumatic incident. When she was questioned her about it, Hathway said, "That’s always been the way I deal with things. You make a joke of it. When you feel like a lot of things are out of your control, there is a certain power in being able to say, 'Ha! I’m laughing at it first." She goes on to say, "People deal with horrible things all the time. Downstairs in this pub someone has a parent who is battling cancer. Someone has just lost their job ... Life is really fucked up and it’s really painful sometimes." Laughter, according to her, is a way to "doggy-paddle" until one can accept the circumstances and move one. 

No, she certainly isn't saying anything extraordinary. I'm sure similar suggestions have been implied in a dozen different ways in self-help books or depressingly optimistic posters/cliches. But somehow, what she said in that interview seems to come back to me occasionally. A feeling of control does arise in being able to chuckle, if not laugh, at your so-called plight. Perhaps that's what makes Woody Allen films so endearingly funny and poignant.  

If you're able to laugh at something, it usually means that you're able to regard it objectively, to accept it, and to dismiss it as mildly amusing - and that is a gigantic step forward if you're anxious or distraught about that something. 

Well, those were my two cents for the Wisdom Jar, now here are Kurt Vonnegut's: "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

You have built a fortress of fantasy
(and other odds and ends) around you,
My wiliest weapons cannot penetrate through.

I am weary,
And, to be honest,
A little teary.

But I don't wish to bore you
With my foolish rhymes
That aren't worth your time.

I can't keep trying
To wake you up,
But no, I am not giving up.

I know that
You know
That I still won't let go.

Whenever you emerge from La La Land,
I hope you remember
I'll still be waiting to hold your hand.

I am merely tossing the ball back in your court,
(It is yours, do with it what you please.)
And if I do see it glide my way,
I will catch it, whatever the time of day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Riddler

I was scrolling through my blog, and I noticed that most of my posts contain several questions. In fact, one of them comprises entirely of questions.

While it is essential to question what you encounter, perhaps it is this incessant inquisition that leads to hitherto non-existent complexities. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living; but a life that is too closely examined doesn't really seem worthy, either. Magnified flaws are often all that one can see after prolonged scrutiny.

"... It occurred to me that my speech or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility ... One gets sometimes such a flash of insight. The essentials of this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach, and beyond my power of meddling."
- Joseph Conrad, 'Heart of Darkness'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"

"Let's pretend that we'll be here tomorrow 
And I'll try for you to be a little more on time ...
Let's do the things we normally do ... 
Don't hold my hand for longer than you need to."

- 'Let's Do the Things We Normally Do", Dido.

Why is it so very difficult to say exactly what you want? It's much easier to tread gingerly around what you are trying to convey, and hope that the other person will eventually comprehend what you really mean. Is it the fear of revealing your true needs, and thus rendering yourself vulnerable that prevents you from pointing at the heart of the matter, and placing it on the table for discussion? Or do you balk at the idea of your real requirements being rejected? Besides, it's feasible to formulate excuses for the other person ("They mustn't have understood what I was trying to say") when you haven't laid all your cards on the table.With the truth, however, one is forced to act, and abandon one's rationalisations about the responses one receives to the aforementioned truth.

Then again, can you ever be entirely certain about what you truly, absolutely need? Certain enough to let go of   people who cannot fulfill that need?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Have you any idea why a raven is like a writing-desk?"

If no-one is around to hear a tree fall in a forest, does that mean it did not make any sound at all?
If I do not share my occasionally paranoid/overwrought/super-anxious/entirely irrational thoughts, will they cease to exist?

The Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret - all the best people are.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Pozitively Pozitive"

Does anyone truly believe the claim that thinking positively leads to pleasant events, while negative thoughts induce unpleasant occurrences? Or is it just another adage that encourages us to believe that we have control over what may, in fact, be utterly random? Yes, I suppose I am becoming far too cynical, though I can't deny the fact that assuming the worst is exhausting. Optimism would, in fact, be a relief. But then again, I fear that if I persuade myself to not assume the worst, I will be: deluding myself/not preparing myself adequately/basically, not girding my loins, and other such irrational fears. A middle path must be sought.

Whoever thought that even optimism could be an ordeal?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Kooky Compendium or "She's called "Henry," and it's a lot of explanation, but don't worry about it, kids, okay? Just tune in, turn off, drop out, drop in, switch off, switch on, and explode."

     Sometimes, I can't help being pessimistic and resign myself to the idea that everything I wish to express has already been said far more eloquently by someone else. Maybe it's one of the perils of being an English Literature student, or maybe it's the perpetual condition of the Postmodern era (another hazard of being a Lit. student is saying seemingly pretentious things like "Postmodern era"). Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I occasionally feel like baby-Jim Carrey in the The Truman Show - he tells his teacher that he wants to be an explorer, and she pulls down a map of the world, and says, "Oh, you're too late! There's nothing left to explore!" Yes, I know, that's far too bleak a circumstance, and I do believe that every sentiment or thought can be expressed in several different ways by several different people. But it's just restful to succumb to the closeted and concealed cynic in us once in a while, isn't it?

     Having provided a relatively lengthy explanation, I shall proceed to list the several quotes that have mesmerised me lately:

Marlon: Where the hell's Fiji? Near Florida?
Truman: [pointing to golf ball] See here?
Marlon: Yeah.
Truman: This is us... [guides finger halfway around ball] and all the way around here... FIJI. You can't get any further away before you start coming back.
- The Truman Show

John Keating: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for... That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse... What will your verse be? 
- Dead Poets Society

Clementine: [whispers] Meet me... In Montauk.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Alvy Singer: Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes I have to invent, of course I - I do, don't you think I do?
- Annie Hall

‎"Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget... The weariness, the fever, and the fret. Here, where men sit and hear each other groan... Where but to think is to be full of sorrow." 
- John Keats, 'Ode to a Nightingale'

"Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?"
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, 'Spring and Fall'

"Why, then, O, brawling love! O, loving hate!
O, anything of nothing first create."
- William Shakespeare, 'Romeo and Juliet'

"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow."
- Bob Dylan, 'Mr. Tambourine Man'

And to conclude: 
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passion a quotation."