Personal Essays Quotes

Quotes tagged as "personal-essays" Showing 1-30 of 130
“Creating a self-portrait sounds easy, but to describe oneself with bandages and all, a person must place their inspirational, mundane, vulgar, and dross experiences into a fitting perspective, which entails describing how encounters with other humanoids influenced him or her.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A person frequently writes in order to escape madness and crushing despondency by culling moral lesson and healing growth serum from personal experiences. Akin to riders on a storm, and a dog without a bone, we only come to understand our limits by enduring suffering. Only by deliberately confronting the essential facts of life does a person come to understand humanity. Without suffering the full brunt of love, sorrow, pain, illness, death, and accepting the relentless march of time a person never comes to know anything at all regarding the wonderful mystery of life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Life is transient and death is unfathomable, but questions nonetheless abound. What is the driving purpose behind the prosodic life of an ordinary person such as me? What emotional rhythms, pitches, pauses, stresses, and intonations drive the meter of person’s life? When the church bells toll my parting day, what tone will it strike in the hearts of other people, if any? Is there a person whoever traversed this crusty rock that we call planet Earth who did not wish for other people to remember them after their death? I confess sharing the vain longing of all men, however humble, to be remembered, not for the crimes that I committed but for fully expressing the poetic gift of life. When I ask what other people will think when I die, I must also ask why I lived, what did I live for, and what joy did I bring other people, if any. What acts, thoughts, and deeds make people beloved? What resounding chime resonates with all loving people? What magical filament binds us? What serves as the ethereal umbilical cord that causes all conscience stricken humans to crave the same universal sense of being?”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A reader can tell if a transcribed story is true because it must contains elements of joy, pain, goodness, and malevolent thoughts. In a true story, not everything fits precisely together; a fortuitous conspiracy of events does resolve all loose ends.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Floyd Skloot
“Acceptance is a deceptive word. It suggests compliance, a consenting to my condition and to who I have become. This form of acceptance is often seen as weakness, submission. We say I accept my punishment. Or I accept your decision. But such assent, while passive in essence, does provide the stable, rocklike foundation for coping with a condition that will not go away. It is a powerful passivity, the Zen of Illness, that allows for endurance.”
Floyd Skloot

“Writers resist the terrifying silence that engulfs us.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Some writers probe their quest for individuality; others explore loneliness, anxiety, and sense of alienation. Writers lament injustice, grief, and dejection. Some writers devote their efforts to an appraisal of ontological torment. Some writers seek to examine the implications of life and death by reflecting upon the restrictions and insufficiency of the human condition. Some writers survey the ramifications of fractured human consciousness in an industrial and scientific community undergoing rapid technological changes. Many writers attempt to release their inner tension and employ writing as a transformative process to effect personal change in their lives. If a person writes as they dream, they will encounter an inner world that assists them function in an awakened state.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing is work with a purpose. Writers all throughout history labored to discover a spiritual and life-affirming means to live and attempted to share their faithful or pessimistic vision with other people.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Narrative essay writing affords sufficient opportunity for the writer to collect data, organize information, rationally process a matrix of collected material, reduce the essence of experience to assigned territories, and by doing so logically quantify their personal existence. Essay writing is an apt form to catalogue discordant incidences and as such writing prose oftentimes calls for the essayist to draw hard and fast classifications and conclusions.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Many modern movies premise the action upon themes identified in ancient myths. Americans are still attracted to the thematic urgency of ancient lore. Despite the advances made by scientist and America’s technological revolution, the universal questions that haunt human beings’ quietude remain unchanged. The subjects that interest us as a people provide useful instructions pertaining how to live. Do we choose the myths that we live by? Do we sort through a bin of past events and select telling stories that we wish to use to define our existence? Do we modify or eliminate handpicked memories that do not fit the fable that we nominate to define our walk through life?”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“An essayist, unlike a fiction writer, needs to establish their objective reliability, equitable sincerity, intellectual integrity and maintain their authoritative trustworthiness because they are an acknowledged reporter of true events and relating or applying the ideas and principles of their sources.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A writer might elect to place what is inside them on paper because their life is disappointing or insufficiently stimulating, to escape agony and despair, to blunt withering discontentment and bitterness, or because language and endless self-exploration intrigues them.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“None of our written thoughts is the final word. Part of the value of writing is to allow a person to subsequently evaluate and modify their thinking patterns.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A pensive personal essay or any other form of narrative nonfiction presents a writer’s viewpoint either as a participant or as a meticulous observer. As a voluble eyewitness, the autobiographer serves as a historian. A writer’s comments will also reflect his view of society and prevailing cultural trends. Each writer whom bases a story on his or her personal feelings is unable to serve as an unbiased historian. Writing about personal feelings and documenting firsthand experiences does not require a person to divorce oneself from all prejudices, assumptions, and strained interpretations. Oftentimes what make reading someone’s journalistic writing enjoyable are their bold, cynical, and derisive opinions, colored by congenital biases, laced with ironic or sardonic commentary.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A writer’s life bleeds into his or her work. Autobiographical writing demands that a historical junky drain their inky plasma onto the parchment of his or her choice. First-person writing enables us to entomb a living person by writing in a posthumous fashion. Each person must design their own obituary, after all, the looped sentences that composes our life story is the type of art that we all can invariable participate.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The role of a novice and professional writer coincide but are not identical. We expect more insight – ideas from the professional – and expect more realism from the novice.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Personal essayists attempt to create stories out of their true-life events in order to interpret reality, that is, they attempt to use writing to escape a vapid reality where they remain fixated upon their private deprivations and personal deformities.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Essay writing is an act of rebellion against walking through life as an empty intellectual shell and as an emotional vacuum. Essayists attempt to bridge the gap between meaningful self-exploration and raising conscious awareness of the larger world that we occupy. Essayist need to understand, they seek to broker compromises with the past, and meld truths out of broken shards of their history.”
Kilroy J. Oldster

“Some notable people turned to writing in order to examine their life, assign meaning to their experiences, and by doing so shared with other people a beautiful rendering of what it means to be human. Can I temper the blows of life by recognizing loose snippets of life as chapters in an unfurling story? Should I take into consideration that suffering births all meaningful things in life? Alternatively, is the ability to experience and communicate joy what makes human life wonderful? What connective thread ties me to the broadcloth of other people’s stories? Do other people share stitches of raveled threads of loneliness and despair? Do other people know a secret verse to living joylessly and splendidly that eludes me? Do other people share my most profound ache to love?”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing requires great skill, painstaking patience, and he ability to perceive and express observations in a unique manner.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Stunning joys fill us with the vibrant sensation of living. Periods of unabated boredom punctuate our lives. Irremediable pain lacerates every person. Writing bluntly about life is not always a merciful proposition. Life hurts. Deliberately probing a person’s tender spots can inflict great pain upon the raw nerves of a jagged mind. A love-hate relationship exists in writing. While the act of writing, akin to any act of creation, binds us to this earth, the act of attacking the self, identical to any other act of destruction, threatens the survival of the person targeted to receive repeated piercings inflicted by a sharpen pen.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Self-knowledge enables a person to grasp what future decisions will define their final formation. The human mind habitually hits the rewind button and replays past events. Can looking back over the rim of time and engaging in thoughtful criticism of the precursor events of my formative years be of any possible assistance to expose the indurate truth of factual reality? Can I employ the tools of memory and imagination along with the techniques of logos – reasoned discourse – to escape strife and pathos? Does it make sense to write the story of my life so that I can ascertain who I am? With these unsettling thoughts and these maieutic questions in mind, I began writing an enantiomorphism-like scroll. The crystal molecules that comprise this text construct a mirror that replicates the multiple dimensions of a risky adventure into self-psychology. I harbor no expectation regarding the outcome of this reflective venture. Regardless of the consequences, all I can do is follow the psychic flow generated by this writing enterprise. I do not know where this positional analysis will take me or how this psychodynamic field study will end. I am simply dedicating all remaining personal energy reserves to capitulating to a tornado-like process of self-study, a turbulent procedure with an unpredictable outcome. Perhaps something sensible will result from deploying a series of narrative personal essays to deconstruct the parasitic evolution of an egocentric self.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), a Portuguese poet, writer, and philosopher said, ‘The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regrets over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“I commenced writing this scroll in a frenzied attempt to find myself. I wished to ascertain how the concertina wire that cinches the plasma pool of my biological capsule together stitches a person into the vacillating web of eternity. Instead of my wild ravings spooling out answers, the act of writing nonstop in the midst of my darkest hours triggered a torrent of questions to examine. Each adamant question posed led to a baffling string of insistent conundrums. I orchestrated an urgent caucus, and tenaciously conducted a fact-finding mission. I held a self-questioning klatch attempting to pierce a spool of secular inquiries, a series of pious and profane questions that compressed upon my confused mind. The resultant positive displacement and negative displacement of febrile energy generated from this disorientating and mind-numbing process of rigorous self-scrutiny spun me akin to a crazed top. Unsure of my destiny, I lunged into the unknown, diving headfirst into the indecipherable parts of my reeling existence. I asked questions and sought answers, examined a sundry of personal experiences, and listened to my inner vibrations. How does a person square their mystical self to the undulating camber of life? How does anyone face the deflating specter of the impending death of his or her beloved? I seek to develop a desirable quotient of self-confidence and gain the needed degree of brio to tackle life. I wish to learn how to savor every moment, come to terms with impairing personal fears, blighting uncertainty, and caustic self-doubt. I aspire to overcome the disfiguring emotional liabilities harvested during my troubled past, develop healthful new habits, and brace myself against the irreducible fact of human mortality.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The tug of self-destruction and the desire to defy mortality by creating an everlasting mark upon this world are uneasy acquaintances. The strident edginess behind a writer’s searchlight voice is a product of the natural tension that engenders when an apathetic writer believes death could arrive tonight. Stunned by fear of a hard deadline, the writer is jolted from their state of laziness and mental neglect that trolling inertia dampens their aptitude to love life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The stories of people who came before us seeking slabs of truth forges an integral part of our personal survival plan.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“A novel is a storyline with an antagonist and protagonist, a plot, conflict, and resolution. A memoir is a slice of life. An autobiography is limited to the facts set out in chronological order. When left in the hands of a deft writer a short story is a literature delicacy, a delectable dish comparable to eating a spoonful of chocolate mousse. An essay, in contrast, shows an energetic mind at work. Each essayist employs the prose style and technique that best fits the writer’s climactic meanderings. Personal essays are malleable in form; they contain a blend of memoir, observation, speculation, and opinion.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“When confronting their distorted way of living, personal essayists must inevitably deal with the horrors of the solipsistic self. Essayists remind us to be astutely aware that life is what occurs before death, and because life is the only truth that we will ever experience, we might as well attempt to get our arms around it and embrace it with all our might. In contrast to the essayist’s desire to make clear-cut distinctions, poetry is an airy art form that makes ample use of metaphors and allusions.”
Kilroy J. Oldster

Floyd Skloot
“Over time I began to recognize the possibilities for transformation. I saw another kind of acceptance as being viable, the kind espoused by Robert Frost when he said "Take what is given, and make it over your own way." That is, after all, the root meaning of the verb "to accept," which comes from the Latin accipere, or "take to oneself." It implies an embrace. Not a giving up but a welcoming. People encourage the sick to resist, to fight back [...b]ut it wasn't possible to resist [...]. I began to realize that the most aggressive act I could perform on my own behalf was to stop struggling and discover what I could really do.”
Floyd Skloot

Sarah Kasbeer
“We make sense of violent events by choosing to deny that they happened—or by blaming the victim. This is true even if the victim is yourself.”
Sarah Kasbeer, A Woman, a Plan, an Outline of a Man

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