Recount Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 46 quotes )
This is what I thought: for the most banal even to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. But you have to choose: live or tell.
What marvelous things happen when men and women walk with faith in obedience to that which is required of them! I recall reading the story of Commander William Robert Anderson, the naval officer who took the submarine Nautilus beneath the polar ice from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, a daring and dangerous feat. It recounted a number of other exploits of similar danger and concluded with a statement that the commander carried in his wallet a tattered card that had on it these words: “I believe God will always make a way where there is no way.” I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way.
He tried to read an elementary economics text; it bored him past endurance, it was like listening to somebody interminably recounting a long and stupid dream. He could not force himself to understand how banks functioned and so forth, because all the operations of capitalism were as meaningless to him as the rites of a primitive religion, as barbaric, as elaborate, and as unnecessary. In a human sacrifice to deity there might be at least a mistaken and terrible beauty; in the rites of the moneychangers, where greed, laziness, and envy were assumed to move all men's acts, even the terrible became banal.
Literature, after all, from Homer onwards, is littered with the recounting of deaths and with the fascination for death, and in this it only expresses what we all repeatedly dwell on but do not necessarily or readily voice. So far as death goes, I don't claim any oddity. There is only one sea: I'm in the same boat as everyone else. And that seems, more generally, to be the position that every novelist, unless they are possessed of a peculiar arrogance, should take: I am mortal too, I am human too. I too, like you, share life's joys, pains, confusions. We're all in the same boat.
When I lie waking all alone, Recounting what I have ill done, My thoughts on me then tyrannize, Fear and sorrow me surprise, Whether I tarry still or go, Methinks the time moves very slow, All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so sad as melancholy.'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, Fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are folly, Naught so fierce as melancholy.
Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, Live forever! Bradbury later said, I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.
The willingness to undertake such action cannot be based on certainties, but on those possibilities glimpsed in a reading of history different from the customary painful recounting of human cruelties. In such a reading we can find not only war but resistance to war, not only injustice but rebellion against injustice, not only selfishness but self-sacrifice, not only silence in the fact of tyranny but defiance, not only callousness but compassion. Human beings show a broad spectrum of qualities, but it is the worst of these that are usually emphasized, and the result, too often, is to dishearten us, diminish our spirit. And yet, historically, that spirit refuses to surrender.
When Jennifer was here in the summer, they were at the house most days. I would say generally that as they got older they became quieter, and though I enjoyed both, I sometimes missed the giggles and shouts. The quiet voices, just low enough for me not to hear from wherever I was, rising and failing in proportion to my distance from them, frightened me. Not that I believed they were planning or recounting anything really wicked, but there was a female seriousness about them, and it was secretive, and of course I thought: love, sex. But it was more than that: it was womanhood they were entering, the deep forest of it, and no matter how many women and men too are saying these days that there is little difference between us, the truth is that men find their way into that forest only on clearly marked trails, while women move about in it like birds. So hearing Jennifer and her friends talking so quietly, yet intensely, I wanted very much to have a wife.
According to Adams, Jefferson proposed that he, Adams, do the writing [pf the Declaration of Independence], but that he declined, telling Jefferson he must do it. Why?" Jefferson asked, as Adams would recount. Reasons enough," Adams said. What can be your reasons?"Reason first: you are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second: I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third: You can write ten times better than I can.
I gave examples from my clinical practice of how love was not wholly a thought or feeling. I told of how that very evening there would be some man sitting at a bar in the local village, crying into his beer and sputtering to the bartender how much he loved his wife and children while at the same time he was wasting his family's money and depriving them of his attention. We recounted how this man was thinking love and feeling love--were they not real tears in his eyes?--but he was not in truth behaving with love.
Mostly I live in this moment, right now, and I'm grateful for it. I know that most of this life lies behind me, but what I Live for is today, and for the tomorrows that remain. My eyes are bombarded by the sights of this beautiful world. Every breath has the rich fragrance of trees and flowers. I'm privileged to be alive to share these wonderful feelings with you. I toast our fallen comrades, all of whom live on in our hearts. So far, so good. Do I sound like I think I'm going to live forever? you bet your fucking ass. I know better, at least in my mind. But this heart still beats a little faster for all the beauty in the world. I can honestly say that I've lived my time here fully. Perhaps the life story I have recounted in these pages will help you to avoid some of the pitfalls that tripped me up along the way. I hope so. And I hope that you'll live the rest of your time to the fullest. I don't see any other good way to go.
In the letters he sends to his friend, Werther recounts both the events of his life and the effects of his passion; but it is literature which governs the mixture. For if I keep a journal, we may doubt that this journal relates, strictly speaking, to events. The events of amorous life are so trivial that they gain access to writing only by an immense effort: one grows discouraged writing what, by being written, exposes its own platitude: "I ran into X, who was with Y" "Today X didn't call me" "X was in a bad mood," etc.: who would see a story in that? The infinitesimal event exists only in its huge reverberation: Journal of my reverberations (of my wounds, my joys, my interpretations, my rationalizations, my impulses): who would understand anything in that? Only the Other could write my love story, my novel.
Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary will remain beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27); later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).