Saturday, August 29, 2009

Various Annotated Quotes

I love good quotes. I've just encountered quite a few quotes this weekend that have struck me as profound. There's so many of them that I felt moved to write them all down in one place so I don't forget any of them. So, think on these things with me...

"My son has seen enough death to understand the value of life."

From the movie "Traitor," which I just got the chance to re-watch for the first time since earlier this year (you may remember how I had told all of you how much I loved it).

But that's a true quote. I know in my experience, it took losing someone I really cared about to make me appreciate life even more. And by that I mean life in every sense of the word: from how life should be guarded from evil-doers, to how life should be enjoyed & soaked up while we have it. There's something about experiencing death that heightens your senses to the value of life.

"Nobody is dragged into a street fight."

Another poignant line from "Traitor." People choose their battles, especially ones as messy & violent as street fights.

I guess this quote, Green Day's song "Know Your Enemy," and Rob Bell's quote about fights & not being in one (from the Nooma video "Store") are all swimming together in my mind right now waiting for the right sermon to spring them in.

"A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you cut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'"

From "Doubt." Don't gossip! ;)

"There are people who will go after your humanity, sister... that will tell you that the light in your heart is a weakness. Don't believe it! It's an old tactic of cruel people that kill kindness in the name of virtue. There's nothing wrong with love.

Another doozy from "Doubt." I suppose you have to see the film to understand how well this statement summarizes Father Flynn's antagonist, Sister Aloysius Beauvier.

"In Ancient Sparta, important matters were decided by who shouted loudest. Fortunately, we are not in Ancient Sparta."

Or perhaps we are, Sister Beauvier. It seems the tradition of Sparta lives on in America's Congressional tradition of the townhall meeting.

Our's was postponed from last night until another night a few weeks from now. Locals objected to the format of the meeting: a format that was designed to ensure civil dialogue & informed conversation. That format apparently has been scrapped for one that will allow people to yell & carry on to their heart's content. Unfortunate I think.

"…you have always been there. Every graduation, every big decision, every trouble, every sad and every happy day. On you, the carefree youngest brother, fell a burden a hero would beg to be spared. Sick parents, lost children, desolate wives. You are a hero. Everyone is going to make it because you are always there with your love."

From the eloquent pen of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Speaking in a letter to her former brother-in-law, Edward, about his generosity of spirit in the midst of so many painful life experiences.

There were lots of kind gestures expressed about him this week. I haven't had a chance to hear them all. Jon Meacham, who always seems to have his finger on the pulse of matters, expressed sentiments similar to Jackie's: "Ted Kennedy (played) a role that would grow all too familiar: that of the survivor, soldiering on, assuming the burdens of his fallen brothers, always with an eye on caring for the family his father had built."

Strong words. I can't help but think how gratified I'd be if someone uttered those words about me after my life has finished. Great epitaph words there.

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