Monday, 31 May 2010

words that speak to me

"Vision and Verb" (click on the button to the right of this post - or left if you're behind the monitor!) is a blog that I have come to relatively recently, but that has brightened my mornings with the various posts and photographs it contains.  

At the weekend a post asked for our favourite quotations - the intention is to use these on Sundays throughout the summer to "hold space and give vision to the voices of others".  

I thought that this was a wonderful idea - the quote that I posted was from John Muir (visit the John Muir Trust here) 

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."

Freedom in open spaces, fresh air, energy, peace and strength to face whatever comes next - these are the thoughts that come into my mind when I read this quote.  

The more that I thought about quotations after this, the more I realised that throughout my adult life I have had certain quotes that have stayed with me and that pop into my head in a particular set of circumstances.  

Not just the kind of inspirational quotes like the one above, but more practical descriptions like Chaucer's  "The smiler with the knife under his cloak".   This has stayed with  me since I studied english at university; it's a description that works either literally or metaphorically - sadly I've worked with people who fit this description perfectly, whose weapons were words to be used when your back is turned.

In a previous post I mentioned Tony Hancock's take on elections - "I'll....cross both their names out and write "get knotted" in!"  It would be a wasted vote, but how tempting!

Others that leap out at me are:

"Peter, you've lost the news!!" from The Day Today (The Day Today You Tube)  a programme that was almost prophetic in imagining how ridiculous some of the news programmes (and presenters) would become.

 "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."  Mark Twain.  I realise that some politicians are good people, but I find it hard not to replace "congress" in this quote with Northern Ireland Assembly!

"I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away"Oscar Levant.  Not that I would ever use this, but it's useful to remember just in case.

These, of course, are mostly for laughs and are getting further and further away from the kind of quotation that this post started off with.  I like them because they make me laugh and I do believe that laughter and healing are closely linked.

I'll finish with two that have been with me for a long time, and that speak to me loudly, giving comfort during really difficult times and instilling hope that things will get better. 

The first is  
  "Human pain does not let go of its grip at one point in time. Rather, it works its way out of our consciousness over time. There is a season of sadness. A season of anger. A season of tranquility. A season of hope."  
Robert Veninga

The last quote is about the strength of the human spirit, about how and why we can find it possible to carry on during the worst times. 

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." 
Albert Camus

I have thought of this often over the years, and the thought of that spark of summer that exists deep down in the cold and dark has, at those times, kept me moving forward, when it would have been all to easy to go no further.

1 comment:

  1. Such lovely images! I very much enjoy being on the seacoast with little tidal pools like I can imagine in your top image.