“I only now understand why it is that people lie about their past, why they say they are one thing other than the thing they really are, why they invent a self that bears no resemblance to who they really are, why anyone would want to feel as if he or she belongs to nothing, comes from no one, just fell out of the sky, whole. For one day when my mother and I were outside in the back yard and she was complaining, though se did not know it, of how dependent on her one or the other children was, and did not notice that she did this all the time, said bad things to each of us about the others behind their back, I noticed that the lemon tree my sick brother had planted was no longer there and I asked about it, and she said quite casually, Oh, we cut it down to make room for the addition. And this made me look at my feet immediately, involuntarily; it pained me to hear her say this, it pained me the way she said it, I felt ashamed. That lemon tree would have been one of the things left of his life. Nothing cam from him; not work, not children, not love for someone else.”
- Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother
“It’s hard to look back and see the truth about people you love. I think if you ask Derek why it all went the way it did and where it all started he’d still say it all started when our father was murdered, but the truth is it started earlier…”
- Daniel, American History X (1998)
“In fact, all along I’ve been pitting myself against each of them [her therapists] in turn. What I really want is to cure myself. To be my own analyst. The particular “gifted child” Alice Miller is talking about is the psychoanalyst. “Every one” of the psychoanalytic trainees she has supervised has the same history: An insecure parent who did not appear to be insecure, but who depended on the child behaving in a particular way. And an “amazing ability” on the part of the child to perceive this and take on the assigned role. This role secured “love” for the child – that is, his parents’ narcissistic cathexis. He could sense that he was needed… These are the people who tend to grow up to analyze other people. Psychoanalytic insight, Miller seems to suggest, is itself a pathological symptom. And surely Winnicott was thinking of himself when, in the psyche-soma paper, he made this observation about the person whose psyche had been “seduced” into their mind: Clinically one may see such a person develop into one who is a marvelously good mother to others for a limited period: in fact a person who had developed along these lines may have almost magical healing properties because of an extreme capacity to make active adaption…
- Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother?
“If you can’t be used you’re useless, just don’t let people misuse you…”
- Charlamagne Tha God, Brilliant Idiots Podcast, Draft Dodgers Episode
“There was nothing I did not discuss with John. Because we were both writers and both worked at home our days were filled with the sound of each other’s voices. I did not always think he was right nor did he always think I was right but we were each the person the other trusted. There was no separation between our investments or interests in any given situation. Many people assumed that we must be, since sometimes one and sometimes the other would get the better review, the bigger advance, in some way “competitive,” that our private life must be a minefield of professional envies and resentments. This was far from the case that the general insistence on it came to suggest certain lacunae in the popular understanding of marriage.”
- Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
“Unless you defeat your demons you are going to end up passing them on to your kids.”
- Danielle Bollelli, History on Fire Podcast, Episode 15 Part 3
“This time of [adolescent] transition in the brain also inspires emotional spark, social engagement, novelty seeking, and creative exploration that can be optimized to empower adolescents to live their lives to the fullest. Without awareness, each of these elements has a downside, for sure. But with knowledge and the skills taught in this book, we can turn potentially negative aspects of adolescence into positive growth. There is a power and purpose to the adolescent period that can transform lives, but first it must be identified and developed so that these forces can be harnessed in a positive direction.”
- Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
Marlon Brando: How many films do you average per year?
Johnny Depp: I don’t know, maybe two or three.
Marlon Brando: No… that’s too much.
Johnny Depp: Well why is that too much?
Marlon Brando: Because we only have so many faces in our pockets.
- Johnny Depp & Lawrence Krauss: Finding the Creativity in Madness
“Although Oliver had roused himself from sleep, he was not thoroughly awake. There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness. At such times, a mortal knows just enough of what his mind is doing, to form some glimmering conception of its mighty powers, its bounding from earth and spurning time and space, when freed from the restraint of its corporeal associate.”
- Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Arthur C. Clarke, Report on Planet 3, Technology and the Future, 1972, via Brian W. Kernighan, Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security