Memoir Writing Quotes

Quotes tagged as "memoir-writing" Showing 1-30 of 199
“A writer’s voice emanates from their interest and compulsions that absorbs them completely. Only by fully committing himself or herself to a pet subject or issue can the writer develop a thematic tone that speaks to other people with authority and serenity. The quality of their literary voice is the crucial part of the writer’s legitimacy, and their authenticity cannot come from mimicking other writers’ style, but must evolve naturally from their inner sanctity and must flow effusively from an inner necessity.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Perhaps I can follow a heroic existential nihilist’s sterling example of surviving the harshness of reality by employing an attentive narrative examination of my recalcitrant life to extract shards of personal truth and elicit a synthesizing purposefulness of my being from the darkness, anarchy, and chaos of existence. Perhaps through the act of engaging in a deliberative examination of the ontological mystery of being and investigating the accompanying stark brutal doubt that renders a materialistic life intolerably senseless, absurd, and meaningless, I can confront the baffle of being and establish a guiding set of personal values to live by in an indifferent world. Perhaps by using the contemplative tools of narrative storytelling, I can strictly scrutinize the key leaning rubrics veiled within an array of confusing personal life experiences. Perhaps by engaging in a creative act of discovery I can blunt the pain and anguish that comes from the nightmarish experience of suffering from an existential crisis.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Silent remembering is a form of prayer. No fragrance is more enchanting to re-experience than the aromatic bouquet gleaned from inhaling the cherished memories of our pastimes. We regularly spot elderly citizens sitting alone gently rocking themselves while facing the glowing sun. Although these sun worshipers might appear lonely in their state of serene solitude, they are not alone at all, because they deeply enmesh themselves in recalling the glimmering memories of days gone by. Marcel Proust wrote “In Search of Time Lost,” “As with the future, it is not all at once but grain by grain that one savors the past.” Test tasting the honeycombed memories of their bygone years, a delicate smile play out on their rose thin lips. The mellow tang of sweet tea memories – childhood adventures, coming of age rituals, wedding rites, recreational jaunts, wilderness explorations, viewing and creating art, literature, music, and poetry, sharing in the mystical experiences of life, and time spent with family – is the brew of irresistible intoxicants that we all long to sip as we grow old. The nectar mashed from a collection of choice memories produces a tray of digestible vignettes that each of us lovingly roll our silky tongues over. On the eve of lying down for the last time in the stillness of our cradled deathbeds, we will swaddle ourselves with a blanket of heartfelt love and whisper a crowning chaplet of affection for all of humanity. After all, we been heaven blessed to take with us to our final resting place an endless scroll amassing the kiss soft memories of time yore.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Telling our story enables a person to gain an enhanced perspective on life. I seek to employ the inherent vulnerability of narrative storytelling to discover how to live free of despair and anxiety, make an unconditional commitment to living a finite life without remorse and regret, and devote the remaining term of life to making a meaningful commitment to create a vivid testament that survives my physical demise.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A biography of civilization does not consist exclusively of wars, politics, and acts of villainy, but also consist of the culture, art, religion, and communication methods of a society. The written word outlasts human life. We can understand how other civilizations lived by reviewing the account of great philosopher’s lives and ideas. We also acquire valuable knowledge of the cultural context of prior eras by reviewing the historical narrative left by ordinary people including their letters and journals describing everyday life and living conditions.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“It is not an easy task to write and make an honest effort at exploring a person’s impermanence. Writing is the most difficult task imaginable for a person such as me who suffers from communication deficits. It is even more frightening for a secretive person, armed to the teeth with protective defense mechanism, to share their thoughts with other people. Insidious personal thoughts plague me including night terrors and grandiose notions. Has anyone else ever reviewed a polemic paper, a pretentious journal entry, or prattling letter that one wrote ten years ago, and he or she failed to recognize the ponderous author’s pedantic piffle? Has anyone else ever been embarrassed at his or her lightweight, amphigory, and pretentious utterings? My presumptuous and nonsensical mutterings, abortive philosophies of a younger man, and disconcerting remembrances of a gabby dramatist, create a conspicuous barrier to placing any other thoughts onto paper. Personal essay writing is a daunting task because personal erudition reveals all the defects in a person’s thinking patterns, an edict only a fool, an intrepid adventurer, or scholarly tragedian dares to defy.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A fine line exists between self-discovery, thoughtfully exploring a person’s transience, probing the lucidity of the soul, and slippage into morose philosophizing.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Useful narrative writing calls for inspiration and imagination fueled by passion and tempered by compassion, a delicate tightrope for any paper tiger to walk. To venture into deep waters where a person never before journeyed is to tempt a dangerous liaison with fate. A cautionary edict proclaims that a wise person should stay out of such heady waters, an admonitory diktat that exempts only rare people blessed with the split-brain temperament of an alpha/omega ambivert. Writing is an activity best suited for a freewheeling optimist who exhibits genuine enthusiasm for life’s rollercoaster ride immured shoulder to shoulder with a pensive recluse as a platonic traveling companion to eyewitness, record, and shed enlightenment upon a person’s journey through the vortex of infinite time and space.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“We tell stories that help define us by unveiling the role we played in our life altering events. We are the product of stories that we tell other people and replay in our minds. We are essentially the character that we can describe through our stories.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Our remembered experiences and our present day hopes and desires form the spine of each person’s storybook. Knowledge of life and death are traceable facts that shape the contours of each person’s storyboard. Other truths gleaned from living brilliantly fill the pages of each person’s ongoing anthology.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“An argument can be made that while all people are born and die and during their lifetime they will lead almost identical lives devoted to fulfilling their will by eating, sleeping, procreating, taking care of their children, and building shelters. This still allows for innumerable personal decisions how to conduct our lives. For instance, identical twins share many physical traits but their personalities vary. How everybody reacts to a physical world, and the mental decisions that they make affects the trajectory of their life. Given the vast world that we must operate within our choices regarding how to live are only limited by our knowledge, ethics, abilities, imagination, and physical constraints. Accordingly, the outcome of our lives is not certain, fixed, ordained, or fated, but rather a mystery that we can assist pen with our conscious, deliberative actions. In other words, we might do what we do in certain situations because who we are, but we have some say in what we are.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Assuming that external physical causes do not entirely proscribe the outcome of our life journey, we have some say in not only what we do, but also in determining what situations we find ourselves needing to respond, and a combination of our conscious and unconscious responses continue to shape our being.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Philosopher Bertrand Russell said, ‘Language sometimes conceals the complexity of a belief.’ Language also sometimes reveals basic truths. Through the time consuming task of writing one word after another and linking language to thought, I shall tell my sordid tale with the goal of plotting an acceptable thematic purposefulness to a life already half-lived. I will attempt to ferret out the hidden self and through an act of will alter my life course. The following chapters relate the culture that birthed me, the family that raised me, the educational system that tested me, the social affairs that shaped me, the friends and lovers that scorned me, the legal profession that rebuked me, and my personal quest to rewrite the construction of a loathsome self-image. How this scaled adventure will end, no one knows, but if any of us knew how our lives would actually unfold, how many of us would say ‘yes’ to all that is. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ My goal is to employ human free will to attempt to recast my fundamental character and develop the courage and mental equanimity to accept whatever will be – accept a largely deterministic world – while still making the most of my imitable human gifts to imbue this life sojourn with purposeful and evocative experiences of a compassionate and charitable human being.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The poetry of music composes each generation of Americans’ autobiographical memories. Language and music represent two rotaries of the revolving and evolving wheels that we employ to internalize the axis of identification. Music plays a profound role in the definitive stages of most people’s lives. Reminiscent of the sounds and smells that flavored our youth, musical intonations organize our personal memories into temporal time sequence. Modulation of musical memories comprises an important quotient in people’s autographical memory system. If we listen to enough music, its pitch, tone, timbre, and cadence eventually seeps into our unconsciousness. The lilt of music becomes a portal through which we perceive, feel, and experience worldly inflections and how we synthesize swirling emotions.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing only to please myself is not self-defeating. Comparable to an apple tree that expends its entire effort attempting to grow and claims no direct interest in the apples that fall from its branches, I hold no interest in harvesting any fruit from the actual work. Akin to the apple tree, I too desire to expand my depth and breadth, by seeking self-actualization and self-realization, using the mentally productive act of writing to branch out from a timbered core. Writing allows me to bud new branches while slithering about at almost an undetectable pace. Reading and writing profoundly influence how a person perceives the ground and the skyline that frames human life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“We can read a book to learn how to live. Alternatively, akin to any weeping philosopher seeking self-realization, we can look inside ourselves to determine right from wrong. Ethics is not a matter of surveying scripture to determine what constitutes virtuous behavior. A person with high moral character must think about life and act in accordance with their conscientious conclusion(s). My faith is in free will and the ability of a moral person to discern good versus evil, not a person’s ability to describe the intentions of whatever deity his or her faith chooses to worship. Simply put, the godhead exists inside me as a spiritual manifestation that embodies people’s innate desire to go forth and multiply, dance in the Etesian wind, and make an artistic testament to the primacy of his or her existence by their honorable performance of worthy deeds.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writers allow us to see ourselves more clearly, they express spiritual signposts that assist us find ourselves. Writers’ self-revelations allow us to grasp personal reflections that remain unrealized and indistinct within ourselves. Nuggets of personal perception remain veiled, until we read carefully chosen words sharing the author’s crystallized perceptions. Provocative authors resolutely tap into that robust vein of common yearning and assiduously engineer their way through humankind’s rampant library of collective neurosis. Reading a master’s scintillating prose allows our own inchoate thoughts to shape up under the splendid beam of sunlight that they cast onto pages bearing their soul’s freshly minted words. Their astutely crafted pages conveying everlasting imagery immunizes their work from the harshness of time’s relentless march forward.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing about personal struggles and a disorganized life responding to the chaotic tumult and toils of an individual life connects a person with the touchstone of all humanity.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Our emotional valence – positive or negative experiences – affects not only how we narrate childhood events, but also which memories we retain. The interplay between a person encountering environment experiences meshed with self-editing of various aspects of their complex memory system results in a person becoming more than a collection of memories: a person creates their personalized version of a self. A person integrates many experiences into creating their being. Personal encounters with other people as well as moments of personal solitude contemplating ideas and personal existence congeal to form the depiction of a self.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Analogous to an incomplete idea, my life is presently without final form, my final composition is still undergoing revision, redacting, and conscientious self-editing.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Valeria Teles
“I don’t write to tell stories, I write to find out what the stories want to tell me.”
Valeria Teles

Valeria Teles
“I believe that the heart is the master of our lives, the mind our powerful servant, and the body the bridge between them.”
Valeria Teles, Fit for Joy: The Healing Power of Being You

“A writer uses a blend of signs to convey an admixture of thoughts, legendary, mythical, and complex, which enigmatic merger represents ideas launched from a variable consanguinity. Modern essay writing, resembling the prehistoric pictographs painted onto canyon walls by ancient tribal shamans and initiates, plays a medicinal role in the life of the writer and persons whom come along later and see a reflective image that speaks to them swimming amongst the streaked and discolored brush strokes on the benevolent face of Grandfather Rock. The healing powers of writing, painting, and other physical crafts represents the artist’s creative fusion of the physical, intellectual, and the spiritual challenges that characterize living an engaged life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“We are finite creates in a world of boundless space, endless time, and infinite matter. At any given moment, we are each a composition of our past memories, our present day exigencies, and our future expectations. Each passing day we modify our identity, filtering a continuum of past memories with our present day hopes and desires. The design of our future prospects shapes not only our present life, but also the furious pursuit of our dreams provides contexture for the lives of other people who will follow our loose-limbed march through time’s corridor. We search for an understanding of how to live in an age that will soon no longer exist. I am a bubble in space-time, an organic organism that will soon burst apart. I need to know why I lived. Acclaimed Russian author Leo Tolstoy wrote in 1877 novel “Anna Karenina,” “Without knowledge of what I am and why I am here, it is impossible to live, and since I cannot know that, I cannot live either.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Half way through life a thoughtful person must undertake an honest assessment of their life. I am now fifty years old. I am rapidly turning into a dry stalk, my breath is sour, and I am beginning to smell of the grave. I melancholy project that in all probability I have now existed about half the period of time that I shall remain in this sublunary world. Resembling the trajectory of other men reaching middle age, my upward ascent in life crested and now I am commencing the meteoric downhill descent. Distinct from Americas’ pioneers and other luminaries whom played an important role in expanding our knowledge and deepened our appreciation of nature, I have done nothing to advance the human condition. I have not mapped any new territory, contributed to the arts or sciences, or expanded our comprehension of mathematics or the natural sciences: astronomy, biology, chemistry, the Earth sciences, and physics. I did not contribute to medicine, cognitive science, behavioral science, social science, or the humanities. Unlike revered social leaders whom advocated peaceful relations with all people, I remained mute while domestic and international conflicts sundered communities. I created no historical existence; I exist only as an introspective being. I have not added one iota to the bank of knowledge of succeeding generations. I have not added any quarter of happiness to other people. My contribution to the human race is nil. In all probability, I will flame out without leaving a lasting trace of my mundane personal existence.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Personal memory – the palest of all lights – is the wellspring of personality and creativity. Memory is the also the cornerstone of culture and the basis of community and family relationships. Without memories of our thoughts and actions, we would not recognize our individual self. Without personal memories, there is no personal character or soul of a nation. Without contextual memories, the concept of universal principles of goodwill and the individual desire to perform noble selfless acts would be moot. There can be no symmetry in any human relations without memories to provide a baseline foundation for reflection and contemplation. It would fatally tax a person’s desire to achieve fairness in their personal dealings without memories of prior acts of greed or benevolence to provide structure for judging the merits of their current behavioral options. Without the haunting of memory to remind us of our propensity to hate outsiders and readiness to overlook the disfranchised, there would be wholesale discrimination and unchecked commission of infamous crimes.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Memory is the essential cornerstone of humanity. There would be no spiritual platform for enactment of public policy directed at uplifting the poor without remembrance of our munificent traditions and customs. Without the ability to recollect the why and wherefores, there would be no tolerance or wondrous love. Without oral memories of the instructions issued by our prophets and patriarchs, there would be no reminder of their charitable calling. Memories prompt us magnanimously to provide for and protect our family, love our neighbors and enemies, and pray for unsavory souls whom persecute us. Without memories of our prior actions and omissions, there would be no confession, and no repentance. Without memories of our personal transgressions, there would be no tolerance for other people. Without memories of heroic action of our predecessors, there would be no sterling examples to exemplify and guide honorable human behavior. Memories are what we rely upon to understand what it means to be human. Shared memories of affection and kindness and recollections of selfless acts fuse the ties of families. Collective memories establish community culture.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Deprived of all forms of memory, people would act only to satiate the immediacy of their base cravings. Without past memories acting as guidepost, humankind’s dynamics diminish to the entropy of commission and reaction. The desire to achieve lastingness would be frivolous without appreciation of our joint history. In absence of historical awareness, there could be no culture dialogue or community inwardness. Absent historical awareness, there would be no evolving community consciousness and there would be no social engine capable of generating any communities’ battery of self-determinacy. Self-improvement would be frivolous without forging an intimate relationship with our historiology as well as familiarity with the account of select people’s exhibited character traits that we might wish to emulate. Notions of personal pliancy and individual lability would lose its root structure without the prongs of memory to provide the necessary griddle and supporting trusses to configure and provide cohesion for our developing sense of selfhood.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Without the aid of memory, human cognition would be nil. Without memory, there can be no thinking, no learning, no accumulation of shared knowledge, and no philosophy. Thinking requires the capacity to recall. Thinking is what enables human beings the ability to understand cause and effect, recognize patterns of significance, comprehend the unique context of experience, measure personal activities, and respond to the world in a meaningful way. Knowledge is memory based. Learning demands the acquisition of studious observations and learned information, the ability to recall a slew of previously held factoids on command, and logically and intuitively to extrapolate from such objective facts. Without memory, there could be no morality. Awareness of humankind’s ineluctable sense of impermanence requires the ability to comprehend times passage through use of stored memories. Without the epic sense of being that memory supplies us, there would be no understanding of eternity, we would remain ignorant of the unremitting thump of time, and therefore, we would be forever unaware of humankind’s wretched transience.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A community of writers forges civilization. Future writers hold at their fingertips the psychic energy needed to propel us forward in the pursuit of universal justice. Writers’ meticulous observation of their surroundings spurs us to appreciate the impelling bouquets of beauty that rally us to declare the crispness of each day. Writers’ studious contemplation of their place in the world allows us to join them in admitting to the stochastic whimsy of a fateful life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

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