Fine words have an ability to move you. They can pick you up, take you somewhere wonderful, or dump you down in a pit of despair. It could be an elegant combination of a few words, or a beautiful meandering passage that paints the perfect picture.
When reading I’ve often come across such passages, in various books or poems. I tend to take a moment, maybe re-read the part again, savour it, and then move on with the book. This is probably what anyone else does. Unfortunately, given a memory that could hardly be called photographic, often I move on without committing the passage to memory. This then means I cannot recall it exactly. Sure I get the gist, and I know how it moved me and why, but the exact form of the object of my inspiration is lost. A blurry picture of a muse from my youth.
Recently I received a notebook from my mum, from when she visited Peru. Its quite pretty, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Too large for regular note taking, not robust enough for writing my blog posts into (each gets written up by hand first before being copied onto here). It sat idle, gathering dust, in a corner of my room. But now I have found a purpose for it. Into it I am copying down the passages of note that I come across. Be they from a dark but enlightened Bukowski poem, a stirring address from Jefferson, or a perfect portrait by Hemingway, they shall be lost to me no longer.
See below for the first half-dozen! Feel free to share any you have.
This began with me searching through books I’ve already read for passages I remembered. Finding the Sinclair Ross quote (the first picture) took me two hours of flicking and scanning pages…. From now on I will make a note as I find each passage.