Ancestry Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancestry" Showing 1-30 of 96
Walter de la Mare
“After all, what is every man? A horde of ghosts – like a Chinese nest of boxes – oaks that were acorns that were oaks. Death lies behind us, not in front – in our ancestors, back and back until...”
Walter de la Mare, The Return

Christopher Hitchens
“Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Anatole Broyard
“The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait."

(About Books; Recoiling, Rereading, Retelling, New York Times, February 22, 1987)”
Anatole Broyard

Raquel Cepeda
“When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves...sometimes even physically.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

“There is something about a closet that makes a skeleton terribly restless.”
John Barrymore Jr.

Raquel Cepeda
“Individually, every grain of sand brushing against my hands represents a story, an experience, and a block for me to build upon for the next generation.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

Diana Peterfreund
“No one is innocent in the tide of history. Everyone has kings and slaves in his past. Everyone has saints and sinners. We are not to blame for the actions of our ancestors. We can only try to be the best we can, no matter what our heritage, to strive for a better future for all.”
Diana Peterfreund, Across a Star-Swept Sea

Richard Brautigan
“Our names were made for us in another century.”
Richard Brautigan

Criss Jami
“Liberalism, contrary to popular belief, is facing backward in considering the injustice of its ancestors. Conservatism, contrary to popular belief, is facing forward in considering the psychology of its descendants. Definitively, it seems in the modern world that neither side really knows which direction it's facing, and men of the sharpest judgment are simply turned off from picking either of the poisons.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

C.S. Lewis
“Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing--rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other.”
C.S. Lewis

Signe Pike
“Long ago, when faeries and men still wandered the earth as brothers, the MacLeod chief fell in love with a beautiful faery woman. They had no sooner married and borne a child when she was summoned to return to her people. Husband and wife said a tearful goodbye and parted ways at Fairy Bridge, which you can still visit today. Despite the grieving chief, a celebration was held to honor the birth of the newborn boy, the next great chief of the MacLeods. In all the excitement of the celebration, the baby boy was left in his cradle and the blanket slipped off. In the cold Highland night he began to cry. The baby’s cry tore at his mother, even in another dimension, and so she went to him, wrapping him in her shawl. When the nursemaid arrived, she found the young chief in the arms of his mother, and the faery woman gave her a song she insisted must be sung to the little boy each night. The song became known as “The Dunvegan Cradle Song,” and it has been sung to little chieflings ever since. The shawl, too, she left as a gift: if the clan were ever in dire need, all they would have to do was wave the flag she’d wrapped around her son, and the faery people would come to their aid. Use the gift wisely, she instructed. The magic of the flag will work three times and no more.
As I stood there in Dunvegan Castle, gazing at the Fairy Flag beneath its layers of protective glass, it was hard to imagine the history behind it. The fabric was dated somewhere between the fourth and seventh centuries. The fibers had been analyzed and were believed to be from Syria or Rhodes. Some thought it was part of the robe of an early Christian saint. Others thought it was a part of the war banner for Harald Hardrada, king of Norway, who gave it to the clan as a gift. But there were still others who believed it had come from the shoulders of a beautiful faery maiden. And that faery blood had flowed through the MacLeod family veins ever since. Those people were the MacLeods themselves.”
Signe Pike, Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World

David Wroblewski
“So a dog's value came from the training AND the breeding. And by breeding, Edgar supposed he meant both the bloodlines - the particular dogs in their ancestry - and all the information in the file cabinets. Because the files, with their photographs, measurements, notes, charts, cross-references, and scores, told the STORY of the dog - what a MEANT as his father put it.”
David Wroblewski, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Amit Kalantri
“In your name, the family name is at last because it's the family name that lasts.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Christopher Hitchens
“There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Tahir Shah
“It is almost impossible to overemphasize the importance with which ancestry is held in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Kara Martinelli
“After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States entered into World War II to protect our way of life and to help liberate those who had fallen under the Axis occupation. The country rallied to produce one of the largest war efforts in history. Young men volunteered to join the Armed Forces, while others were drafted. Women went to work in factories and took military jobs. Everyone collected their used cooking grease and metals to be used for munitions. They rationed gas and groceries. Factories now were producing airplanes, weapons, and military vehicles. They all wanted to do their part. And they did, turning America into a war machine. The nation was in full support to help our boys win the war and come home quickly.



Grandpa wanted to do his part too.”
Kara Martinelli, My Very Dearest Anna

Shirley Abbott
“We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.”
Shirley Abbott

Christopher Hitchens
“I have had my mother's wing of my genetic ancestry analyzed by the National Geographic tracing service and there it all is: the arrow moving northward from the African savannah, skirting the Mediterranean by way of the Levant, and passing through Eastern and Central Europe before crossing to the British Isles. And all of this knowable by an analysis of the cells on the inside of my mouth.

I almost prefer the more rambling and indirect and journalistic investigation, which seems somehow less… deterministic.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Isaac Asimov
“I am not impressed by ancestry, since if I could trace my origins to Judas Maccabeus or to King David, that would not add one inch to my stature, either physically, mentally or ethically. What's more, what about all my other ancestors? There must have been uncounted thousands of human beings in the century of King David, all of whom in some small way contributed to my production, and every one of them but King David might have been criminals and drunkards for all I know. (Nor was King David himself entirely unremarkable for his ethical standards.)”
Isaac Asimov

Kara Martinelli
“When I opened the box, I had to remove myself from whose handwriting it was that I was reading and whose story I was hearing. I had to, or I never would have made it past the first letter. If I stopped to think about my Grandpa writing to my Grandma, knowing how much he loved her and how many years he spent without her after her death, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through just one letter without an onslaught of tears. And it was Grandpa, a voice I knew so well. One that I miss terribly.”
Kara Martinelli, My Very Dearest Anna

Nenia Campbell
“Heritage was everything: it was a golden skeleton key, gleaming with power, able to get the wielder through any number of locked doors; it was the christening of the marriage bed with virgin blood on snow-white sheets; it was the benediction of a pristine pedigree, refined through ages of selective breeding and the occasional mercy culling.

It was life, and death, and all that spanned between.

It was his birthright.”
Nenia Campbell, Black Beast

Tomi Adeyemi
You carry all of us in your heart. We shall live in every breath you take. Every incantation you speak.
Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Raquel Cepeda
“The Dominican Republic is my holy land, my Mecca.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

Susan Abulhawa
“I have always found it difficult not to be moved by Jerusalem, even when I hated it—and God knows I have hated it for the sheer human cost of it. But the sight of it, from afar or inside the labyrinth of its walls, softens me. Every inch of it holds the confidence of ancient civilizations, their deaths and their birthmarks pressed deep into the city's viscera and onto the rubble of its edges. The deified and the condemned have set their footprints in its sand. It has been conqured, razed and, rebuilt so many times that its stones seem to possess life, bestowed by the audit trail of prayer and blood. Yet somehow, it exhales humility. It sparks an inherent sense of familiary in me—that doubtless, irrefutable Palestinian certainty that I belong to this land. It possesses me, no matter who conquers it, because its soil is the keeper of my roots, of the bones of my ancestors. Because it knows the private lust that flamed the beds of all my foremothers. Because I am the natural seed of its passionate, tempestuous past. I am a daughter of the land, and Jerusalem reassures me of this inalienable right, far more than the yellowed property deeds, the Ottoman land registries, the iron keys to our stolen homes, or UN resolutions and decrees of superpowers could ever do.”
Susan Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin

Deborah Olajitan
“Some people accept the fates set for them in ancestry
Others seek to forge their own destinies in the smithy of the future.”
Deborah Olajitan

Calvin Baker
“When we see what blood we spill, we call out to the gods, but they have forsaken us. We shout to the ancestors; only the sound of the waters answers back. We are left to the mercy which we have for each other.”
Calvin Baker, Naming The New World: A Novel

Jessica Marie Baumgartner
“The fires of our ancestors burn within our very bodies now.”
Jessica Marie Baumgartner, The Magic of Nature: Meditations & Spells to Find Your Inner Voice

Susan Abulhawa
“I have always found it difficult not to be moved by Jerusalem, even when I hated it—and God knows I have hated it for the sheer human cost of it. But the sight of it, from afar or inside the labyrinth of its walls, softens me. Every inch of it holds the confidence of ancient civilizations, their deaths and their birthmarks pressed deep into the city's viscera and onto the rubble of its edges. The deified and the condemned have set their footprints in its sand. It has been conquered, razed and, rebuilt so many times that its stones seem to possess life, bestowed by the audit trail of prayer and blood. Yet somehow, it exhales humility. It sparks an inherent sense of familiarity in me—that doubtless, irrefutable Palestinian certainty that I belong to this land. It possesses me, no matter who conquers it, because its soil is the keeper of my roots, of the bones of my ancestors. Because it knows the private lust that flamed the beds of all my foremothers. Because I am the natural seed of its passionate, tempestuous past. I am a daughter of the land, and Jerusalem reassures me of this inalienable right, far more than the yellowed property deeds, the Ottoman land registries, the iron keys to our stolen homes, or UN resolutions and decrees of superpowers could ever do.”
Susan Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin

Toni Sorenson
“We must never forget our fist fathers or the sacrifices they made for us.”
Toni Sorenson, Messiah

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Andy SIngh

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