When Mr. William Faraday sat down to write his memoirs after fifty-eight years of blameless inactivity he found the work of inscribing the history of his life almost as tedious as living it had been, and so, possessing a natural invention coupled with a gift for locating the easier path, he began to prevaricate a little upon the second page, working his way up to downright lying on the sixth and subsequent folios.
Most of the time our inner voice tries to guide us to ‘Truth’ but we, out of our own vested interests, wish to continue living in our own self-created illusions because it suits our purpose or fulfils our needs.
How paltry are the traces left behind by a life, even one concentrated around those supposed things of permanence called words. We spend our time upon the earth and then disappear, and only one one-thousandth of what we were lasts. We send all those bottles out into the ocean and so few wash up on shore.
Once, back home, I decided to count how many days out of my twenty months in Afghanistan I’d been on combat missions. 217 days. And I’m still paying the price for every one of those days.
When I came home, I was asked to put my pictures in a photo exhibit at the Cinematography College ... my pictures won first prize. I began to ask myself what I was doing, and why. A few months after the exhibit, I dropped out of college, left my wife and began to write this book.
Perhaps it seems odd that a casual meeting on the street could have brought about such change. But sometimes life is like that isn't it
Storytelling is ultimately the only way that we know besides song, dance, painting, and music to share with our tribesmen what it means to be human, express the indefinable feelings that unite humankind.
Life's a book filled on pages Just awaiting to be written.Some don't open it for ages,Maybe afraid of being bitten.
All forms of writing are an act of conception; writing must lead to creation. Each time that we write, we begin again. Writing is an act of self-affirmation. Each time that we place our thoughts onto paper, we receive a new opportunity to claim our reality. Writing is also an act of explication and deconstruction. Writing empowers us to shape and modify our fiery constitutions. Writing allows us to explore the essential ingredients that lead to a life of serenity by exhibiting compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness.
I knew even then that she was right. An en is a karmic bond lasting a lifetime. Nowadays many people seem to believe their lives are entirely a matter of choice; but in my day we viewed ourselves as pieces of clay that forever show the fingerprints of everyone who has touched them. Nobu's touch had made a deeper impression on me than most. No one could tell me whether he would be my ultimate destiny, but I had always sensed the en between us. Somewhere in the landscape of my life Nobu would always be present. But could it really be that of all the lessons I'd learned, the hardest one lay just ahead of me? Would I really have to take each of my hopes and put them away where no one would ever see them again, where not even I would ever see them?
I'm not sure this will make sense to you but I felt as though I'd turned around to look in a different direction so that I no longer faced backward toward the past but forward toward the future. And now the question confronting me was this: What would the future be
We write our personal story as intermittent authors; the narrator is always searching for a unitive point of view. We strive to perceive oneself from a unified perspective, but it is virtually impossible to do so. Human perception of the self is an illusion. We constantly sift through shifting memories. We experience the present under the fragrance cast by the past and under the illusionary aura of the future.
...To see your life flow in obscurity among the treasures of the heart and of nature, happy in your anonymity, and to occasionally lose yourself in reading or in the pleasure of being a sensitive admirer of the fine arts; that’s the image of modern life you’re looking for!
I am often described to my irritation as a 'contrarian' and even had the title inflicted on me by the publisher of one of my early books. (At least on that occasion I lived up to the title by ridiculing the word in my introduction to the book's first chapter.) It is actually a pity that our culture doesn't have a good vernacular word for an oppositionist or even for someone who tries to do his own thinking: the word 'dissident' can't be self-conferred because it is really a title of honor that has to be won or earned, while terms like 'gadfly' or 'maverick' are somehow trivial and condescending as well as over-full of self-regard. And I've lost count of the number of memoirs by old comrades or ex-comrades that have titles like 'Against the Stream,' 'Against the Current,' 'Minority of One,' 'Breaking Ranks' and so forth—all of them lending point to Harold Rosenberg's withering remark about 'the herd of independent minds.' Even when I was quite young I disliked being called a 'rebel': it seemed to make the patronizing suggestion that 'questioning authority' was part of a 'phase' through which I would naturally go. On the contrary, I was a relatively well-behaved and well-mannered boy, and chose my battles with some deliberation rather than just thinking with my hormones.
Having to admit that you are depressed makes one feel less than. Broken. Yes, that's what it is. Broken.
I could simply kill you now, get it over with, who would know the difference? I could easily kick you in, stove you under, for all those times, mean on gin, you rammed words into my belly. (p. 52)
oh. she heard it too-no waters coursing, canyon empty, sun soundless- and the beast your life nowhere hiding (p. 103)
...gripping the rim of the sink you claw your way to stand and cling there, quaking with will, on heron legs, and still the hot muck pours out of you. (p. 27)
blue-gold sky, fresh cloud, emerald-black mountain, trees on rocky ledges, on the summit, the tiny pin of a telephone tower-all brilliantly clear, in shadow and out. and on and through everything everywhere the sun shines without reservation (p. 97)
Personal essay writing that incites the mind and instigates personal growth involves examination and re-examination, a process of noticing and reflecting upon what a person perceives. Essayistic writing is an osmotic process wherein a person intuitively absorbs information and ideas, allows inchoate thoughts to gestate in the unconscious mind, and then consciously places the emergent strands of language and logic into an orderly and expressive format.
A shaman and a writer each serve as their communities’ seers by engaging in extraordinary acts of conscientious study of the past and the present and predicting the future. An inner voice calls to the shaman and an essayistic writer to answer the call that vexes the pernicious spirit of their times. Shamanistic writers induce a trance state of mind where they lose contact with physical reality through a rational disordering of the senses, in an effort to encounter for the umpteenth time the great unknown and the unutterable truths that structure existence. An afflicted person seeking clarification of existence cannot ignore the shamanistic calling of narrative exposition. Thus, I shall continue this longwinded howl – making a personal immortality vessel – into the darkness of night forevermore.
Every book adds a grain of humility and humanity to the communal ground that we tread. Writing is the one method that the modern shaman employs to interpret reality and create messages that will provide a beacon of light to other members of our tribe. So long as ignorance, misery, and confusion remain on earth, and people look to expand their state of awareness, books that contribute to the aesthetics of despair, a world composed of mist and shadows cannot be useless. Writing is a personal effort to coexist with the banality, tedium, and anguish of living a fated life. Writing is a shamanistic act of faith because seeking to link thoughts together in order to understand how one fits into nature’s wonderland is a quest for unity and wholeness, the ultimate medicinal poultices that all self-disciplined shaman and alchemistic writers aspire to achieve.
Writing is an exhausting and demoralizing task that destroys human conceits. Writing an elongated series of personal essay opens a person’s mind to explore paradoxes and discover previously unrealized personal truths. Writing is as arduous as any trek into the wilderness. Every sentence takes a writer deeper into the jungle of the mind, a world of frightening inconsistencies created by our waking life’s desire that the world of chaos conform to our convenience.
Recounting the narrative of our personal story in a methodical and chronological manner helps us see our life in a historical perspective. Telling our personal stories allows us to bring hibernated memories out of seclusion. Reexamination of our historical existence under the light of growing conscious awareness assist us make psychological breakthroughs. Analyzing the elemental substance of our personal story from a sundry of viewpoints employing techniques of literature, philosophy, logical reasoning, and abstract thinking assist us perceive our discrete chronicle in symbolic terms and in mythological context.
I had spent many nights in the jungle looking for game, but this was the first time I had ever spent a night looking for a man-eater. The length of road immediately in front of me was brilliantly lit by the moon, but to right and left the overhanging trees cast dark shadows, and when the night wind agitated the branches and the shadows moved, I saw a dozen tigers advancing on me, and bitterly regretted the impulse that had induced me to place myself at the man-eater's mercy. I lacked the courage to return to the village and admit I was too frightened to carry out my self-imposed task, and with teeth chattering, as much from fear as from cold, I sat out the long night. As the grey dawn was lighting up the snowy range which Iwas facing, I rested my head on my drawn-up knees, and it was in this position my men an hour later found me fast asleep; of the tiger I had neither heard nor seen anything.
Storytelling creates a healing serum. The thematic unguent of our personal story represents a fusion of the ineffable truths that each of us must discover within ourselves.
They [his readers, whom he asks to be his friends] will find that I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of first introducing it into minds which were ignorant of its charms” (Casanova, p.34, Vol 1 Preface).
Honesty is vulnerability. Sadly, not everyone can handle someone’s honesty. However, lying allows people to be comfortable.
For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we've all had to become disappears, when we're confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.
Hiding white lies only causesanxiety and low self- esteem.Melissa Mae Palmer (on living with a mysterious illness and not telling a soul)
The story of what it means to be human is never complete. Every generation will produce its own share of comedies and tragedies, fools and geniuses. What the Greeks started the rest of the world will continue to build upon. The old stories will continue to explicate where we came from, while the new stories will illuminate in what direction humankind trends. The collection of future stories of humanity will add to the cumulative library of stories that past writers told, an anthology of collaborative stories will shed light upon the singleness of the human spirit in its aspirations, powers, vicissitudes, and wisdom.
The artistic bend is a sell-out. It's all truth, or it's no good. EIther write what's in the heart, all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the uglier, the privat and even more private and it's a book worth reading. Not willing to go there? Do yourself and the world a favor: Don't write it until you're ready to do so. Only then is it your truest artist being heard. And only then will the world want to hear what you have to say.-Wendy K. Williamson 9/25/14
Children played guessing games, telling each other whether the gun fired was and AK-47, a G3, an RPG, or a machine gun.
Human souls enfold the elemental elements that we configure to provide our own distinctive explanation of what it means to be alive. By opening our hearts and minds, by engaging in intuitive self-exploration, by telling our life stories full of prejudices and mindboggling idiosyncrasies, and by listening to the multivariate stories of our brethren, we add a ray of light to the spiraling consciousness of humankind.