Stirring Quote

My schedule continues to be hectic and horrid (this was supposed to be written and posted last night, for instance), but one thing I do still have time to do through it all is listen to my lovely audio books. I have a file on my phone where I type out quotes that strike me as I’m listening, whether they be profound or hilarious or poignant. For instance, in the book Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir, Frances Brandon is talking about Queen Jane Seymour and refers to her as “that prim-mouthed, two-faced trollop.” It hit me at the right moment and in the right way, and I started cackling, so I saved it.

I have recently finished listening to Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I first read the book years and years ago and loved it then and loved it no less this time. The book is full of good quotes, but one in particular really struck out at me. To paraphrase, “From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn’t there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I had spent every day watching for [something that] would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be to realize I’d never really tasted the tings I’d eaten or seen the places I had been because I had thought of nothing but [this], even as my life was drifting away from me.”

It reminds me of another quote from Sharon Salzberg, where she is saying that needing something and having unnatural attachment to it is like leaning forward constantly, and she wonders how our minds and bodies would feel if we were constantly leaning forward like this. It’s really the same thing Sayuri is saying in Geisha.

I’ve put my life on hold before for some external thing to come along and make it better. I’ve leaned forward, I’ve not tasted the food or seen the sites around me, all because I was so focused on something else. So focused, in fact, that I often forgot to live, to enjoy every part of what was happening to me in the now. Aside from that, I would often lapse into wanting something so much that I didn’t actually work toward it, but rather daydreamed about how nice it would be if only…

In Geisha, this is what Sayuri did until the last moment where she took an active role in the development of her life. I’ve done that recently when I pulled up all my roots and moved to where I am now. I plan to do it again in a few months when I change my living situation for the better. It’s one thing to sit back and hope, and quite another to wait for it — or worse, expect it or feel entitled to it — and then do nothing to bring it along.

I once read a book about finding love. There was a joke in there about doing a love spell and then waiting for Cupid to come down your chimney with your perfect new man in tow. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t sit at home, not working out, not going out, not changing anything, but rather lying down on your bed and thinking what if, just leaning forward, reaching, waiting…and getting nothing. When will we realize, like Sayuri did, that our destiny is up to us?

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~ by Darren Endymion on March 21, 2017.

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