The Quality Of Quintessential Quotations

“The ability to dream is all I have to give. That is my responsibility; that is my burden. And even I grow tired.” – Harlan Ellison

For years, I have dreamed of being anything other than what I am. Right now, I am a student, I am a fast food worker. I am a novice writer, and an amatuer cook at best. I dream of being a poet, a chef, and so much more. I look to movies to try inserting myself into their stories, but I cannot find me in any place I want to. I only see the side characters. I look to television to find myself in their stories, but I do not see myself as a poet on stage. Only in the audience. I look to books to try inserting myself into their stories, but I am not the knight. Only the shopkeeper. But that is okay, because not everyone is able to become that knight, or that globally recognized poet, or that dashing main character of the movie.
As we grow older, a fear grows in our mind about how we are going to make our mark on this world, and the options are numerous. You can be a great author, an incredible parent, an amazing chef, an unrivaled therapist, or just a great person and you will make at least one mark on someone. We aren’t remembered for this though, we are remembered for what we say and do, just the moments that stick out to an individual.
“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history” -Plato
That is why quotes have become so important to me. Quotes serve as a pettering portal potentially presenting precious perspective pertaining to any situation we might find ourselves in. The way we say something, our flow, that how you know when something is right. Or wrong. The words we chose allow others to glimpse into our being in hopes of glimpsing our true personality. Quotes that we embrace, whether it be from a movie, show, book, poem or anything else can show us what it is like to be human, and how to know another person.
A phobia exists that writing in prose potentially poisons phenomenal poets but nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone that can find a dictionary can say that prose is nothing but the way people speak, and that is precisely what a poet should do. That is what a writer should do. It is paramount that we write how we speak, and let down a facade of perfectly persuasive words. The need to convince someone you believe to be better than you is gone. Now we can all talk normally. No alliteration. No Repetition.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race” – Robin Williams.
We as humans get taken too far into the idea that poetry is only for the past, and now we talk in different ways, but nothing could be further from the truth. Music now is what poetry used to be. Words strung together in order to produce a story that could be understood by anyone willing to look past a meter or rhyme scheme. That is why it is important to understand how to read poetry, the classes we take now are not used in work, because work is not the only part of life to look forward to. What we are taught in English is used in the rest of our lives outside of our jobs. We use it to like music, to understand a message. While we might never need to break it down by sentence structure, we will want to understand what it is telling us.
That’s part of what I have learned here at Berkley High. This wasn’t meant to teach us how to do our future jobs, but instead simulate life in a way that shows us how to observe better, how to understand more writings, or even how to write basic code. While some things may seem more useful than others, I don’t think the primary goals of some classes are to teach the main subject, as unintuitive as that might seem, but instead to show what lesson we might need in the future.
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
– Ralph Waldo Emmerson
School was there to teach us about how to digest a quote, how to see ourselves in a movie or show by better understanding a character, how to find who we are. We see something as common as a tree as a child and are able to see something amazing inside of it, but eventually that wonder fades. School tries to put that wonder back into us, by showing us what isn’t so wonderful anymore. We see the inside of a cell, or how to do complex math, and we become overwhelmed, but then we see a simple tree outside, and become enchanted with its simplicity. The stars in our eyes return, this time with more experience, and the wisdom granted to us by the trials we face is now put to use in order to see what is miraculous in the mundane world.
Our school life starts with the reading of Dr. Suess and ends somewhere around Emmerson, or Thoreau. So I find something rather poetic in ending with Suess instead, and giving that last little upbeat step before we begin the rest of our life outside of school. As great as it is to read into quotes, some don’t need to be read into though.
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
– Dr. Suess