Sunday, July 3, 2016

"Oh, Kaye!" chats about quotes


Who doesn't love quotes?

I have a friend who can pull quotes out of the air.  Is able to name who said it, when and where.  Quotes from movies seem to sit somewhere close by just waiting to be spoken and shared again.

I envy that so much.

The best I can do is know I've read, or heard words in a movie or a song, that resonated.  Then, usually, I have to research to remember the where and the when, and the by whom.

Sometimes I'll be reading and something will jump out at me.  Not necessarily something that I'd try to retrieve later as a quote, but a passage that speaks to me, and speaks so loudly it's one I want to share immediately.  To read aloud to anyone who happens to be close by.  Usually that would be Donald or Harley (Harley is surprisingly interested in almost anything I say to him.  Especially if I begin with the word "cookie.")  But I have been known to type a passage and share with a friend I think might also appreciate it.  This is especially true of poetry.


When Pat Conroy died I picked up my copy of his "My Reading Life."

I read and I cried.

To know that he'll never again write a single passage, not one single word, ever again, broke my heart.  Still breaks my heart.

But, my heart is happy that he wrote what he did and that I can, forever and always, read words he wrote that don't just speak to me, but sing.  

He is, I think, the most quotable person ever born, and this piece started out to be just a few quotes from him I wanted to share.

When I realized there was no way I could pick only a few I decided to change course.

Change course, but stick to quotes and passages that I've enjoyed over the years.

And again, I realized there was no way to choose just a few unless I set a limit.

The limit started with one.

Pfftt.

Sure.

Okay, move it up to two . . . 


Not gonna work.


So.  Finally . . . 

Finally, I decided to stop at three.

But.

Three from different sources.  From books, poetry, movies, music and the theater of politics.

See how easy it is to get around the limits one sets upon oneself?


So.


I've finally chosen a few words that have left their imprint on me in one manner or another.  They're not here, necessarily, because they're earth shattering, or brought forth an epiphany of some sort, but because at some time I found the words to be memorable - mostly this in the case of movies - just plain and simply memorable.

Some of these are quotes or passages which I feel sure many of you are also familiar with.

In return, Dear Reds, I'd like to hear some of your own favorites.




Books -

“Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel's Game


“Every time we start thinking we're the center of the universe, the universe turns around and says with a slightly distracted air, 'I'm sorry. What'd you say your name was again?”
― Margaret Maron, Bootlegger's Daughter

“I've been treating you with courtesy and respect because that's the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.”
― Louise Penny, Still Life


Poetry -

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. ”
― Mary Oliver

“Today I am 65 years old. I still look good. I appreciate and enjoy my age. A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you're in and take advantage of it. You still bring to bear all your prior experience, but you are riding on another level. It's completely liberating.”
― Nikki Giovanni

“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it. ”
― Mary Oliver


Political -

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
― Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”
― Mahatma Gandhi


Music - 

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing ain't nothing, but it's free."
― Me And Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls."
― The Sound Of Silence, written by Paul Simon

“And any time you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain / Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders / For well, you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool / By making his world a little colder”

― Hey Jude, written by Paul McCartney



Movies -

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"
Network, 1976

"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."
All About Eve, 1950

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
Dirty Dancing, 1987


Now, even though I've done what I said I was going to do, I find I cannot end this without something from Pat Conroy after all.

A few years ago, Authors 'Round the South contacted members of SIBA with a promotion idea for their upcoming convention.  The promotion was called "Parapalooza, Paragraphs Worth Spreading."  Several people read from their own novels, and/or a favorite novel written by someone else.  

Besides reading a passage from my "Whimsey," I also read a favorite passage from Pat Conroy's "Beach Music," which you can see here:






And - you can see more Parapalooza here:
http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/parapalooza









20 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Lovely quotes, Kaye.
I don't have much talent for pulling quotes out of the air, but there are a couple that stay with me:

Robert Frost: I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Doctor Seuss [The Lorax]: I speak for the trees.

Isaac Asimov: I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh I love this! Possibly my favorite right now is from Thomas Edison: "When you think you have thought of everything, remember this. You haven't. "

Happy Sunday everyone!

Kaye Barley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaye Barley said...


Joan - Love these. The Asimov quote is new to me. Thank you!

Hank - This is a new one to me too - I love it!!

Jenn McKinlay said...

Great piece, Kaye! Quotes are like the air I breathe - they sustain me - even though sometimes they feel like a bitch slap reality check. LOL. When I was trying to break into writing the one I read every single day was "Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts." ~Ruth Gordon

Kim Striker said...

That's lovely, Kaye, and what delightful quotes.

Kaye Barley said...


Jenn - thank you. And Ruth Gordon! Man - don't we love Ruth Gordon? She was a woman to be reckoned with, listened to and emulate.

Aw, thank you, Kim.

Kathy Reel said...

Oh, Kaye, Beach Music is one of my favorite books, and when I was lucky to get to meet Pat Conroy and hear him speak, I had him sign two copies of Beach Music, one for me and one for my friend who had recommended it. I wish I had a copy of the talk Pat Conroy gave at that event, as I'm sure it would be quote after quote after quote worthy. Coming from a small town and appreciating it fully now, I can also relate to the following quote from Beach Music, “The best thing about a small town is that you grow up knowing everyone. It is also the worst thing.”

Joan, the Robert Frost quote is one I use quite a lot, too. And, as Frost is one of, if not my favorite poets, there are several quotes from his poetry I like to recall. "Nothing gold can stay" from the poem with the same title. This Frost poem was recited by Ponyboy to Johnny Cade in the book and movie The Outsiders, and then Johnny referenced it to Ponyboy when he (Johnny) was dying, telling Ponyboy to "stay gold."

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall," from Frost's poem Mending Walls is a good one, too. Although, it seems that too many people and one politician especially gravitate toward another line in that poem, "'Good fences make good neighbors.'"

A few of my favorite quotes from authors are:
Anna Quindlen, “I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books.”
Judy Blume, “I cannot live without books.”
Desiderius Erasmus, “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”
Frank Zappa (ok, musician, but author, too), “So many books, so little time.”
Maya Angelou, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”
Louisa May Alcott, “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
Neil Gaiman, “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”

Kaye Barley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen in Ohio said...

I have several favorite quotes. But of course I can't think of a single one at the moment.

Happy to have your excellent examples, Kaye. Some are new to me, and well appreciated.

Kaye Barley said...

Kathy, I wish I had known you when I was stalking Pat Conroy all over the south! It got to where he would get up from wherever he was to shake Donald's hand and ask if he was still hanging out with "that woman."

Great quotes!! I especially love the Neil Gaiman quote - it taps something in me.

Libby Dodd said...

Mary Oliver is amazing.
The MLK quote reminds me of a favorite saying of my husbands,
"I can take aggression and I can take stupidity. But I cannot take aggressive stupidity!" (And there is so much of it!)

Kaye Barley said...


Karen - isn't that just the way?!

Libby - Mary Oliver truly is amazing, isn't she? I like your husband's favorite saying - and yes, there is.

Pat D said...

Oh darn. I wish I could remember quotes. I read books where the main characters can pull lines of poetry out of the air for just the right situation. One of the few quotes I remember is attributed to JFK but I don't know that he said it: Life isn't fair. I like that one because I can add my own little corollary to it to fit the situation.
And this quote is really deep; Orson Welles in his wine shilling days: I will drink no wine before its time. Now why does that one stick in my head?
I just read Jane Steele and was entranced with "Dear Reader, I killed him."

Pat D said...

One more: Forrest Gump. Stupid is as stupid does.

Kaye Barley said...


Pat - Yes! I love "Dear Reader, I killed him!" what a classic, huh??

Deborah Crombie said...

Kaye, what a great topic. Unfortunately, I plead Book Jail Brain Dead.

Love everyone else's though.

Kathy Reel, I'd never seen The Outsiders until about a year ago, and I didn't catch that "the gold" was a Frost reference. Heartbreaking!

And I had no idea that Frank Zappa said "so many books, so little time" which is the motto of my life:-)

Coralee Hicks said...

1. "The ways are two: love and the want of love. That is all." Mencius
2. "All we are is dust in the wind" Kansas
3, "If you are afraid of butter, use cream" Julia Child
4, "One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory." Rita Mae Brown.

Mia P. Manansala said...

1) Best New Year's Resolution ever, by my favorite writer:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
― Neil Gaiman

2) “Only the phoenix rises and does not descend. And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 10: The Wake

3) My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
- Maya Angelou

Kaye Barley said...


Debs - I hate that you're still in Book Jail, but you stay right there 'cause I'm in need of a new Duncan/Gemma novel!

Coralee - I love that Julia Child quote!

Mia - you've used quotes from two of the best!!