Three Days Three Quote Challenge – Day Three

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And so I come to the final day of my Three Quote Challenge (courtesy of Meredith at Mezzalilly’s Teen Book Reviews – thanks, Meredith!).

For my final quote I’m going back to Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and this quote speaks of friendship:

‘When you part from your friend you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.’

The first time I saw this quote was when it was presented to me as a piece of embroidery, done by a parent of one of my young martial arts students. I had been at the school for six years, achieving my black belt and becoming an instructor, so when I had to leave to move cross country, it was a difficult choice to make. The choice of this quote was quite profound, and I treasured the gift both for its thoughtful nature and the lesson it taught.

For many years my things were in storage and I moved yet again, to Australia. When I finally saved up enough to ship my items across I found the piece of embroidery, along with other memorabilia and cards from my time at the club. I cried quite a lot that day, as I sorted through items I hadn’t seen for years. But they were tears of joy as much as anything else, as I reclaimed a part of myself I hadn’t realised had been forgotten.

That concludes my Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge. As before, I won’t be nominating anyone specific to take it on – however, if you’d like to participate, please do.

Three Days Three Quote Challenge – Day 2

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This is the second of my three quotes, and once again thanks to Meredith at Mezzalilly’s Teen Book Reviews for tagging me in this challenge.

Today’s quote is by Mark Twain, the legendary writer and raconteur. It’s a philosophy by which I’ve tried to live much of my life.

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

‘Nuff said, really 🙂

Three Days Three Quote Challenge – Day 1

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I was recently tagged by Meredith of Mezzalilly’s Teen Book Reviews to participate in the Three Days Three Quotes Challenge. I have done this challenge before, but there are so many wonderful quotes in the world I’m very happy to participate again. My first quote is from Tolkien, the master of Middle Earth, and it’s from Aragorn’s Riddle, All That is Gold Does Not Glitter.

‘Not all those who wander are lost’

I love these words. In the poem they refer to the Rangers, of which Aragorn was one, long lived guardians of the forests who protected the people of Middle Earth, yet who were looked upon with scorn by those who did not understand their purpose.

In my own life, I think they refer to the sort of wandering existence I’ve had, working different jobs and living in different countries, on a quest to discover what it is that makes me happy. While there have been times in my life where I have felt a little lost, I’ve never been too far from the path and have been fortunate to have events or people come into my life and steer me the right way again.

The box in the photograph was given to me by one such person, who is a very dear friend. At a time when life was dark she was a light – she knows it, because I told her so.

Now the rules of the Challenge indicate that I’m to nominate three more bloggers, but anyone who knows me knows I don’t always go by the rules. So, as I’ve done this Challenge before and did nominate three bloggers previously, I’m going to leave it open this time around. If you’d like to participate, please do.

And, a Camp NaNo update – Silver and Black is starting to take shape. I’m about three thousand words in and fingers crossed will keep going with it until the end of the month.

 

Three Quote Challenge, Day 3

Couldn't resist the opportunity to use my star sprinkles photo again!
Couldn’t resist the opportunity to use my star sprinkles photo again!

Men at some time are masters of their fates.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

William Shakespeare

When I was in Year 10, we had to study Julius Caesar (the play, not the man) and memorise these lines as part of our homework. Cassius speaks them to Brutus, as part of a discussion about Caesar and how it is that he is their ruler, rather than some other, more worthy, man. What he is saying (as I understand it) is that they have only themselves to blame for not pursuing a path to glory, rather than it being the result of some divine twist of fate. We studied other Shakespeare plays during my time in high school – The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet – but these three lines have always stayed in my mind.

I have a single tattoo. It’s on my hip, and is a circle with a Celtic knot pattern. I chose it to honour my Celtic heritage, and it stayed fairly circular even through my pregnancy (though I did refer to it as the ‘celtic egg’ for a while). But the interesting thing is that, after I’d already chosen the design and had it inked on my skin, I discovered a bit more about it. It is actually called The Llewys Design, and is a representation of the twists and turns of fate, something significant to my own life.

So I think the reason I’ve always remembered these lines is that they speak to the idea of choice. That we have some say in what happens to us. Though I think Shakespeare also leaves things open to the idea of fate intervening, when he writes that ‘men at some time are masters of their fates.’ At some time, but not all the time. Sometimes, you can open a door and walk into a room and your life changes in an instant. That’s what happened when I met my husband. Oh, not because we had some lightning bolt moment of ‘this is it, you are mine forever!’ Rather, when I walked into the room and shook his hand my path shifted without my even knowing it, as did his, a pure twist of fate. The choices came later, when I decided to go to Australia for ‘a year,’ to see what it was like. Seventeen years, a marriage and a child later we came back to the UK, another unexpected twist.

While I agree with Shakespeare that we are, at some times, masters of our fate, I also believe that the fault does, at times, lie in our stars. That things happen to us that cannot be explained by choice or determination, but rather as part of some larger picture we are not yet permitted to see. And so, while we can make conscious choices that shape the paths of our lives, at other times it is as though the choices are being made for us, and we can either face them, or turn away.

And that’s my final choice for my Three Quote Challenge – thanks for reading along with me 🙂

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I was nominated by the lovely Eilis Niamh to take this challenge, the rules of which are as follows:

First, you thank the person who’s nominated you.
Then, you post a quote you love.
Finally, on each of the three days you post a different quote, you choose another blogger to carry on. (ooh, not sure about that last one – however, we shall see)

Thank you Eilis! Once again,  I don’t have a nominee today, but if you’re reading this and would like to take up the challenge, please do 🙂

Three Quote Challenge – Day 2

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‘Do or do not, there is no try.’ Yoda

Oh yeah, it’s a Star Wars quote. After yesterday’s quote, I suppose this could be seen as being moving from the sublime to the the ridiculous. But there are layers to my choice, reasons that go beyond my love of the films, and so that is why it’s my second choice for the Three Quote Challenge.

I’ve already documented my love for the Star Wars films, and it was definitely a factor in making this choice. However, it’s also what the original films represent to me – my memories of being a kid in the 1970’s and living in the UK, before we moved to Canada and my life changed dramatically in just about every way. I remember my brother and I playing with his Star Wars toys and how cool we thought the whole thing was. Our united quest to each get a full set of Return of the Jedi bubblegum cards, spending our pocket money and trading cards with each other, the whole thing bringing us together at a time when we were very different in terms of our interests.

Then there is the martial arts aspect, another big part of my life. I have heard Yoda described as ‘the ultimate sensei.’ I’ve been fortunate enough to train with some pretty amazing sensei on my own martial arts journey. Though none of them were eight hundred years old or wielded a light sabre, they were all great teachers and I learned something different from each of them. So this is the second layer of my choice – the idea of passing on knowledge, of the master speaking to the initiate.

And finally, I chose this quote because I believe it to be true. Saying ‘I’ll try’ is to entertain the idea of failing. Choosing to do or do not is to commit to the moment, the idea, the possibility. Life is full of opportunities for us to make change every day, but choosing to do or do not is the catalyst to things actually happening. Everything else is just marking time. 🙂

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I was nominated by the lovely Eilis Niamh to take this challenge, the rules of which are as follows:

First, you thank the person who’s nominated you.
Then, you post a quote you love.
Finally, on each of the three days you post a different quote, you choose another blogger to carry on. (ooh, not sure about that last one – however, we shall see)

Thank you Eilis! Two quotes down and one to go. I don’t have a nominee today, but if you’re reading this and would like to take up the challenge, please do 🙂

 

Three Quote Challenge, Day 1

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The lovely Eilis Niamh has nominated me for the three quote challenge, the rules of which are as follows:

First, you thank the person who’s nominated you.
Then, you post a quote you love.
Finally, on each of the three days you post a different quote, you choose another blogger to carry on. (ooh, not sure about that last one – however, we shall see)

Thank you Eilis! Okay, here is my first quote:

‘Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.’ Kahlil Gibran

I found my copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet in a charity shop – it’s a 1972 edition, still with $2 marked in pencil on the inside cover. I was already familiar with some of his quotes, the above one in particular, as it was part of a reading I had at my wedding. It’s pretty popular for weddings, I guess, but I believe that’s because it speaks a truth all couples can heed.

In a world where we are constantly sold a happy ending based on the idea that, once you find your soulmate you’re set for life, never to part, Gibran offers an alternate viewpoint. That, while we should love each other, we should also love enough to let our significant other be alone. To let them grow as a person, just as we grow too. That, while we may share a life, we don’t have to share everything. Though our strings may quiver to the same music, we don’t necessarily have to play together all the time. Whether together or apart, it makes no difference, for you do not depend on anyone else to make you complete – you are a complete person already.

I love the first metaphor – ‘a moving sea between the shores of your souls’. It’s just so poetic and romantic. That’s what love feels like to me. Water flowing endlessly, tides waxing and waning under a silver moon, a force of nature you can only follow along with, not control.

So that’s my first quote, two more to go. I would like to nominate Stephen Baird, if he doesn’t mind (though it’s up to you whether or not you wish to take on the challenge, Stephen!)