Archive for the ‘quotations’ Category

Quote: Jung at heart

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

― Carl Jung

“Action is everything! It really doesn’t matter what you say or even what you think; it’s what you do that matters.”

Action Girl’s Guide to LivingSarah Dyer


“Action is character.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this in his notes while working on his final (unfinished) novel, The Last Tycoon. He wrote it in caps: ACTION IS CHARACTER.

Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1890-1940)

Laughter

With Canadian sit-com Schitt’s Creek picking up all 7 of the comedy awards last night at the Emmys in LA, dubbed the ‘Phantemmys’ due to having to go online and virtual due to the pandemic, it is a perfect moment for this Byron quote:

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”

Byron in 1815
The Rose family from Schitt’s Creek. The sixth and final series has just aired in the US.

On the subject of Byron, the BBC’s new 3-part series on Romanticism fronted by Simon Schama is well worth a watch. The Romantics and Us plays out on BBC2 and was made by Oxford Films

John Hume – Respect

John Hume 1971 derry

At a civil rights march in Derry 1971

“Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace – respect for diversity.”

John Hume – Nobel Peace Prize Lecture 1998

 

john hume

MP for Foyle & Leader of the SDLP

Quotation: hands on

After three months of Zooming these words resonate:

david hockney garden painting

A Hockney garden

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”

(Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)

Quotation: Teach us rightly to number our days

On holidays and such circumstances we have a conversation in my family about tattoos. I’ve made 51 tattoo films in my career including In Your Face for Real Stories/Little Dot Studios (100M+ views) and The Male Body Handbook: Tattooed for Channel 4. The conversation springboards from the question: If you were to have a tattoo, what would it be? I always end up saying the only thing I would want to see every day is something that was or meant “Carpe Diem”.

As I sit writing this at my desk there is a marble tablet to my right – a cheap bit of tourist tat from when I visited Rome a couple of years ago to speak at MIA – the Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo film festival/market. The tablet, quite heavy, says:

CARPE DIEM

QUAM MINIMUM

CREDULA POSTERO

Quinto Orazio Flacco

So the phrase we are familiar with actually has a broader context: Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow. It comes from Book 1 of (Roman poet) Horace’s Odes (23 BC). Quinto Orazio Flacco in Latin is Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known as Horace.

I don’t really like the look of Carpe Diem. Carpe reminds me of carp, the fish that Eastern Europeans love to consume for some reason. Diem contains “die”. So I was pleased to find another quotation this week (at the funeral of my step-father) which means much the same thing. It is from the Old Testament, Psalm 90 (verse 12):

Teach us rightly to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I read this as an exhortation to value each day and recognise that it is one of a limited number we are each allotted – through that perspective, brought to mind daily, we can become wise at heart (as opposed to at head).

The nearest tattoo I can find is Psalm 90:14, two doors down, nicely done but not at all the same:

I am big on the word “joy” though – my daily mantra is “I will enJOY my day” – and I’m all up for being “glad all our days”, but it’s not for me.

However Psalm 90:12 is not quite snappy enough – it is great for an arch in a cemetery but not quite right for my arm.

Back to the fantasy tattoo drawing board…

In the meantime In Your Face has just been awarded the Best Documentary accolade in the Lockdown Short Film Showcase run by London Short Film, of which more tomorrow…

Innovation quote

I’m as proud of many of the things we have not done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.

Steve Jobs

steve-jobs young

Combatting Corona Quotes

“It’s in your hands how you look at it. I still have hopes and dreams. I don’t know when we will get back to normal and I don’t really care because I’m living right now. I’m making the most of it. I’m going to do my best to have a better future and an even better day tomorrow.”

Nadia Nadim, footballer, Paris Saint-Germain (fled Afghanistan aged 12)

Nadia Nadim, footballer, Paris Saint-Germain

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

The First Step – quotation for Sunday

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”

Martin Luther King Jnr.

He was talking about religious faith but it can apply to other things too.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step quotation martin luther king

Thistles Roses Daisies – quotation

Building on one of my favourites – Carpe Diem (which I would have as my tattoo if I had one) – I like this refinement by a Flemish academic/writer.

thistle flower

Pluck the day, not just when it is a rose or a daisy – then it is no great feat – pluck it too if it is a thistle.

Patricia De Martelaere – born 16th April

Small_Red_Rose

Patricia De Martelaere (1957–2009) was a Flemish philosopher, author and essayist. She was born in Zottegem, Belgium and graduated in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven. She subsequently taught there and at the Catholic University of Brussels.

daisy flower

Hope quote

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul

Emily Dickinson

tree-sparrow

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Between starting this post and writing this last paragraph I was just outside with my neighbours clapping the NHS and frontline workers battling the coronavirus on our behalf. Someone down the street has taken to letting off a firework to mark this weekly occasion. When he fired off his rocket this evening a frightened sparrow flew over my head.

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