So here is why I write what I do: We all have futures. We all have pasts. We all have stories. And we all, every single one of us, no matter who we are and no matter what's been taken from us or what poison we've internalized or how hard we've had to work to expel it - - we all get to dream.
Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts.
L. Ron Hubbard
We obviously both have our pasts, but that's not important right now. I don't have to know every bad thing you ever did in your life to know that you're a good guy now. People change, grow up, get smarter, move on. In ten years I could be completely different, but I'll never be the person I was yesterday, or even this morning. I don't want to be. I want to try to be better with each second I'm alive.' -SHEA
Fantasy is, at its best, the purest access to storytelling that we have. It universalizes a tale, it evokes wonder and timeless narrative power, it touches upon inner journeys, it illuminates our collective and individual pasts, throws a focus beam on the present day, and presages the dangers and promises of the future.
Guy Gavriel Kay
It's easy to look at people and make quick judgements about them, their present and their pasts, but you'd be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. what a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceburg hidden from sight. And more often then not, it's lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of their soul.
I could tell from Anna's face that she had already told him about dancing in Saint Petersburg and that the memory weighed on her heavily. What monstrous things, our pasts, especially when they have been lovely. She had told a secret and now had the sadness of wondering how much deeper she might dig in order to keep the first secret fed.
I never lied to you. (Kiara) Of course you did ""you said you could see the real us"" that we weren't as bad as we claimed. But you didn't and, just like everyone else, so long as we risk our lives to protect and save you, we're okay. But the moment we have to make a choice not ours, the moment you see what our pasts have made us, you're horrified by the truth and hate us for it like we had some kind of choice in what we are. (Syn)
It's easy to look at people and make quick judgements about them, their present and their pasts, but you'd be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only oneone tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from site. And more often than not, it's lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of their soul." ~Acheron 2008
Life isn't really linear. Although it's generally perceived that way. The stories we tell are woven like snakes around a divining rod. A center of time containing all that's ever been told and heard. Remembered and forgotten. Lost and found. Our pasts, presents and futures are unwound, stretched flat, cut into pieces and held up with human arms.
Thomas Lloyd Qualls
The unlikely group that resulted from the union of five diverse characters in their late twenties operated with surprising harmony. This cohesiveness could be attributed to two factors: 1) everyone's issues and embarrassing pasts were plainly disclosed prior to the gang's formation and 2) the clan had been expressly conceived as a male support group.
[Writing about themselves] gives them wings, so that they can rise above the confounding maze of their lives and, from that perspective, begin to see the patterns and dead ends of their pasts, and a way out. That's the funny thing about mazes; what's baffling on the ground begins to make sense when you can begin to rise above it, the better to understand your history and fix yourself.
I'm sorry. For all of us. Sorry for all the little ways the people who were supposed to love us most could hurt us so deeply, despite their shared heritage and blood, as thought their knowledge of our pasts gave them unlimited access to all the most tender places, the old wounds that could be so easily reopened with no more than a glance, a comment, a passing reminder of all the ways in which we failed to live up to their expectations.
In all memory there is a degree of fallenness; we are all exiles from our own pasts, just as, on looking up from a book, we discover anew our banishment from the bright worlds of imagination and fantasy. A cross-channel ferry, with its overfilled ashtrays and vomiting children, is as good a place as any to reflect on the angel who stands with a flaming sword in front of the gateway to all our yesterdays.
Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, remaining in an enigmatic state, symbolizations encysted in the pain or pleasure of he body. 'I feel good here': the well-being under-expressed in the language it appears in like a fleeting glimmer is a spatial practice.
Michel de Certeau
Who fixes broken people? Is it only other broken people, ones who've already been ruined? And do we need to be fixed? It was the messiness and hurt in our pasts that drove us, and that same hurt connected us at a subdermal level, the kind of scars written so deeply in your cells that you can't even see them anymore, only recognize them in someone else.
Regardless of approach, the past holds something valuable for all of us. It is literally the root of who we are, physically through our actual ancestors and culturally in establishing the foundations for our current beliefs and practices in religious, social, domestic, and political arenas. The same ancients that we study were themselves drawn to their own pasts, often asking questions similar to the ones we pose today about our past.
Thomas Van Nortwick
All migrants leave their pasts behind, although some try to pack it into bundles and boxes-but on the journey something seeps out of the treasured mementoes and old photographs, until even their owners fail to recognize them, because it is the fate of migrants to be stripped of history, to stand naked amidst the scorn of strangers upon whom they see rich clothing, the brocades of continuity and the eyebrows of belonging..
Everything we think we know, everything we think we see, everything we believe we feel, taste, smell, or hear, everything we 'remember' (our pasts), everything we want to happen (our futures), everything that has ever existed or will ever exist, only exists right now. All of these things are nothing more than electric signals being passed through our brains and bodies, right now. It is all energy flowing through us right now. 'The past' exists only in our minds. We are the ones who bring it into reality. We are the ones who bring it into the present. We are the ones who make it 'real'.
With tremendous clarity and wisdom, Daniel Tomasulo has crafted a memoir at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Layers of time and memory""childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age""are so beautifully revealed here, a trenchant reminder that our pasts are alive inside of us. There are psychologists who can write, and writers who can psychologize, but rarely have the two met on the page with such moving, profound results.
When white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it. Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers. Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed. We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others. It is not our 'fault.' But it is undeniably our inheritance.
Douglas A. Blackmon
When white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it. Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers. Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed. We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others. It is not our "fault." But it is undeniably our inheritance.
Douglas A. Blackmon
If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have...they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who suffered most. We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts. We give the monsters the last word.
Lewis B. Smedes
America has been a land of dreams. A land where the aspirations of people from countries cluttered with rich, cumbersome, aristocratic, ideological pasts can reach for what once seemed unattainable. Here they have tried to make dreams come true. Yet now... we are threatened by a new and particularly American menace. It is not the menace of class war, of ideology, of poverty, of disease, of illiteracy, or demagoguery, or of tyranny, though these now plague most of the world. It is the menace of unreality.
Daniel J. Boorstin
When a Truthsayer's gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory - in her body's memory. We look down so many avenues of the past... but only feminine avenues... Yet there's a place no Truthsayer can see. We are repelled by it, terrorized. It is said a man will come one day and find in the gift of the drug his inward eye. He will look where we cannot - into both feminine and masculine pasts... Many men have tried the drug... so many, but none has succeeded." "They tried and failed, all of them?" "They tried and died.
There ought not be two histories, one of political and moral action and one of political and moral theorizing, because there were not two pasts, one populated only by actions, the other only by theories. Every action is the bearer and expression of more or less theory-laden beliefs and concepts; every piece of theorizing and every expression of belief is a politcal and moral action.
In my quest to find Green Cottenham, I also discovered an unsettling truth that when white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it. Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers. Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed. We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others. It is not our "fault". But it is undeniably our inheritance.
Douglas A. Blackmon
try to visualize all the streams of human interaction, of communication. All those linking streams flowing in and between people, through text, pictures, spoken words and TV commentaries, streams through shared memories, casual relations, witnessed events, touching pasts and futures, cause and effect. Try to see this immense latticework of lakes and flowing streams, see the size and awesome complexity of it. This huge rich environment. This waterway paradise of all information and identities and societies and selves.
How do we negotiate between my history and yours? How would it be possible for us to recover our commonality, not the ambiguous imperial-humanist myth of those shard human (and indeed also most divine) attributes that are supposed to distinguish us absolutely from animals but, more significant, the imbrications of our various pasts and presents, the ineluctable relationships of shred and contested meanings, values, and material resources? It is necessary to assert our dense particularities, our lived and imagined differences; but can we afford to leave untheorized the question of how our differences are intertwined and, indeed, hierarchically organized? Could we, in other words, afford to have entirely different histories, to see ourselves living - and having lived - in entirely heterogenous and discrete spaces?
Satya P. Mohanty
Some pasts exist as a fog that rolls in and out of the present, formed not by air that condenses into mist but memories that condense into tiny doors that open to forgotten moments. Maybe you glance at a stranger on a crowded street who reminds you of a childhood friend or hear a song that was popular the first summer you fell in love, and in the space of that single beat of time you are flung backward to a who or when long past. And yet it is only for that one beat. Those tiny doors never remain open for long for most of us. They ensure our former times are kept as relics, and the dust upon them is wiped clean only occasionally
He loves me so he hurts me To try and make me good. It doesn't work. I'm just too bad And don't do what I should. My memory has so many different sections and, like all survivors, there are so many compartments with so many triggers. I'll remember a smell which reminds me of a man which reminds me of a place which reminds me of another man who I think was with a woman who had a certain smell - and I'm back to square one. This is the case for most survivors, I believe. When we try to put together our pasts, the triggers are many and varied, the memories are disjointed - and why wouldn't they be? We were children. Even someone with an idyllic childhood who is only trying to remember the lovely things which happened to them will scratch their head and wonder who gave them that doll and was it for Christmas or their third birthday? Did they have a party when they were four or five? When did they go on a plane for the first time? You see, even happy memories are hard to piece together - so imagine how hard it is to collate all of the trauma, to pull together all of the things I've been trying to push away for so many years.
Why is it that women are the only ones who will write perfect men into fiction? It's strange. If a man portrayed his fictional men as archangels, the feminists would throw back their heads and howl, "UNFAIR!" but we women will create our own Mr. Darcy's and Mr. Knightley's and defy anyone who would point out their unrealistic points. The men aren't the ones crazy about Pride and Prejudice. Obviously they don't find perfect men realistic and honest enough to bother reading about. We don't write perfect women characters, do we? No. Our women all have bad tempers, or resentful hearts, or scabby pasts, or hidden fears-things that make them real. It's because we're easy on ourselves and aren't trying to boast perfection because we know we don't measure up. Then why do we hold men to a different standard?... I'd caution all writers to make sure that your male "hero" in your story has his own flaws. You don't want a one-dimensional character. You don't want a perfect man that will drive away other men from reading the book. Look to the men in your life. The men around you. Look to your brothers and fathers and pastors and neighbors. Your uncles and the guy down the street. Goodness-look to Taylor the Latte Boy if you must, but let's cast aside the Perfect-Man syndrome.
The color-patches of vision part, shift, and reform as I move through space in time. The present is the object of vision, and what I see before me at any given second is a full field of color patches scattered just so. The configuration will never be repeated. Living is moving; time is a live creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fullness of what I see shatters. 'Last forever!' Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying; it is a canvas, nevertheless. But there is more to the present than a series of snapshots. We are not merely sensitized film; we have feelings, a memory for information and an eidetic memory for the imagery of our pasts. Our layered consciousness is a tiered track for an unmatched assortment of concentrically wound reels. Each one plays out for all of life its dazzle and blur of translucent shadow-pictures; each one hums at every moment its own secret melody in its own unique key. We tune in and out. But moments are not lost. Time out of mind is time nevertheless, cumulative, informing the present. From even the deepest slumber you wake with a jolt- older, closer to death, and wiser, grateful for breath. But time is the one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can't recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.