Saturday, November 14, 2009


I'm watching Beowulf right now. Somehow it has taken me awhile to see the latest adaptation. I think I have now seen every film adaptation of it and I will doubtless see any others that are filmed. I have always loved and been inspired by the great hall in which everyone slept. Imagine it- a dark night, no electric lights glowing outside, no 911 and no radio to find out what was going on outside. Absolutely anything could happen. I have dreamed about that great hall, wishing I could see it's stone floors and dark, silent nights, moving silently through it in the night as all those around me slept.

Writing that touches you is unparalleled by anything else. It's better than a day that's not too warm and not too chilly. It's better than getting great clothes at a superb price. And let's face it- it's better than sex. It lasts for a lifetime unlike just about any other experience you can have.

Here are a few passages that may bore you or inspire you, I don't know which. But, they have always inspired me:

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

-Frank Herbert, Dune

If the Scientologists worshipped Frank Herbert instead of the guy they worship, I would be first in line. This quote has gotten me through a lot of ordeals and it will certainly continue to do so.

"Everything popular is wrong."

-Oscar Wilde

My man Wilde was rarely wrong, and he was certainly not wrong with this little sound bite. I have always felt that the popular stuff was somehow wrong, tailored toward machinery rather than humans. Popular clothing styles, popular music, popular TV shows- all crap. Sorry.

"Be strong saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this."


This Illiad quote is probably what I would get tattooed on myself if I wasn't scared of tattoos. When my dog died a friend called and quietly recited this quote to me. I am grateful for having heard it, and it continues to speak to me.

"You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way."

-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

This quote is so central to everything that I believe in that it ceases to be a quote and becomes more a a veil that I try to hide behind. All the things that prevent you from being your true self are useless, stifling problems that should be conquered.

The quotes that inspire people are often the ones that validate who they are and what they believe the world is like. I would welcome Grendel on a night like this, stepping carefully through the sleeping men as mystery lay in the black night ahead. Other people may find inspiration in, actually, I'm not sure. I'd love to know what inspires other people to be their true selves. There are doubtless other quotes out there that would speak to me if I had the chance to hear them.


Russell said...

As an apprentice alcoholic, one of my favourites is "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than have a frontal lobotomy" ...

L. Shepherd said...

Ha- I like "apprentice alcoholic." I had been drinking quite a bit when I wrote this, actually. I think posts turn out better when that's the case.