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words to live by.

January 2, 2011

just a quick thought about quotes, and the way we cheapen them.

people are always shoving quotes in my face. people are always shoving quotes in everybody’s faces. they are on coffee mugs, t shirts, calendars, inspirational websites, emails and forwards, books of quotes, fortune cookie fortunes, cue cards, powerpoint presentations, speeches, short stories, oprah, magazines, spiritual leaders, facebook statuses, facebook profiles, ‘about me’ boxes and pages, blogs, twitter, television shows.

we live in a wordy society, even if we don’t buy books anymore, even if we have stopped reading. because of that, we have cheapened so many great quotes. the quote from nelson mandela – our greatest fear… the quote from jack kerouac – the only people for me… the quote from marilyn monroe – if you can’t handle me at my worst… the list goes on. so many good good words, but yet we have debased them by making them facebook statuses. i am guilty of this too.

but there are still quotes that inspire.

there is one quote that i constantly come back to because when i read it i just felt it resonate inside of my chest. it is, obviously, from william faulkner’s book the wild palms. it’s not one of my favourites of his. it’s a little awkwardly written, weaving back and forth between two separate stories – one about a river, a criminal and a pregnant woman, and one about a young couple and the morals surrounding death, abortion, hard-faced love. the whole book is painted in a sort of sulfur-yellow wash, the words curling at the edges.

and there is one moment when the female character turns to her lover and explains to him what the idea of passion is. and she says this:

“Yes,” she said. Then she crumpled the paper and flipped it aside, turning. “But that’s not important. That’s just whether it’s steak or hamburger. And hunger’s not here –” She struck his belly with the flat of her hand. “That’s just your old guts growling. Hunger’s here.” She touched his breast. “Dont you ever forget that.”


i don’t know what it is about that quote. but it resonates because i believe in the hunger, and with this upcoming semester of school, i know that i will constantly need to assess and reassess that hunger, make it something to believe it. i can’t forget it. i don’t want to confuse my old guts growling with real fierce passion.



on an aside, here is my music lately.

jimi hendrix is a man who i have a love-ambivalence relationship with. i love myself some dirty guitar riffs, but i tend to tune out during 10 minute acid-fueled experimental solos. however, there are few of his songs that blow my mind out of the back of my head, and a few of his songs that truly lull me, cry the blues. the wind cries mary (embedded below) is one of the latter. red house is also a great one if you are into the folkier sound. for true rock and roll, eschew voodoo child and go instead for if 6 was 9. love the sound of a guitar heartbeat with a murmur, and the silence in between.

groovy. happy new year, effers.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 8, 2011 10:24 am

    Hey, great post. Great blog. It is fresh and to the point. I just read literally dozens of blogs, because I can’t sleep, and yours is by far the best quality. You know it is rare to find decent content on these things… Most of them are cheap and spammy.

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