“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

- Crowfoot

Monday, January 17, 2011


I love quotes. I could spend all day reading quotes. It seems as though everyone else is so much more articulate than I am. I read a particularly resonant quote and think to myself, "This person has just put into words a phenomenon that I didn't even recognize existed until they articulated it so well." Then I wonder how I had overlooked that particular phenomenon. Quote reading has been a hobby of mine since eighth grade when I needed to find a quote to begin my speech about Gloria Steinem with (I think only recently have I discovered just how controversial a figure she is). The quote I chose resides somewhere in my gut, probably right next to my heart. Or that place that sinks when you hear tragic news that sickens you or rises into your throat when you are excited. The quote goes like this:

Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have always thought that this would be the quote that stayed with me my entire life. This has been my motto since I found it 7 years (!) ago. It likely will continue to hold this position as it is easy to remember and something worth living by. However, this night has provided some stiff competition in the race for number 1 quote. This quote does not inspire, it does not fire up the spirit. Instead it describes... well, I doubt I could explain it while giving it the justice it deserves, so I will let it speak for itself.

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear. - Stephen King (Different Seasons)
After a quote like that, I may just have to start reading more (or any) Stephen King. Though I not necessarily one for sci-fi or mystery novels.