Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quote It Saturday 5/24

Several years ago, another blogger hosted a weekly meme called Quote It Saturday which I really enjoyed. Even though she stopped hosting it, I decided to restart the weekly tradition. I love to read, and I love it when a books speaks to me, getting to the heart of something I feel or have experienced myself, even if the character's experiences are different than mine. I keep a quote journal where I write down quotes from the books I read, and that's what I draw from for Quote It Saturday. You can read past Quote It Saturday posts here - I didn't have a category for quotes, just for books, so this list includes both past Quote It Saturday posts, as well as book reviews, and other posts about books. So, here we go, reviving an old tradition...

Today's quote is from a fascinating novel I recently read for my online family book group. One of my cousins chose the novel Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (you can read my review here). It's about a leper colony on an isolated part of the island of Moloka'i in Hawaii. It opens near the turn of the century as a little girl, the main character of the novel, is torn away from her family and sent to the colony to live. The historical setting of the novel is fascinating - I knew nothing at all about leprosy or the leper colonies - but I also related to the struggles of the characters in dealing with their horrible and isolating illness.

One of the things I liked most about the novel was the positive mindset of the main character and many of the other characters as well. You would think that a book about leprosy would be depressing, but it wasn't; it was full of hope and joy, even amidst suffering. This passage about the main character as a young woman sums that up:
"...and as she rode into Kalaupapa...she felt a surge of joy. Friends called out to her; the surf beckoned to her; her horse, on seeing her, happily nuzzled her neck. This was life, and if some things were Kapu (forbidden), others weren't; she had to stop regretting the ones that were and start enjoying the ones that were not."
          - Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
That perfectly captures the way I believe I should live my own life, post-illness. I'm not always successful - I got pretty depressed this week and was wallowing in self-pity and mourning for a few days - but it is what I strive for. I am trying to make a fresh start today. As soon as I got up, I dragged my lounge chair out onto the deck. It is so beautiful and peaceful this morning out here - quiet (no lawnmowers or leaf blowers out yet!), the only sounds the birds singing and the trees blowing in the wind, with cool, fresh air.

I am trying to find my way back to a place of peace and joy, and this passage helps. Hope it helps you, too. And I highly recommend the novel for anyone who enjoys reading.

Enjoy the weekend!


Siobhan (Chronically Siobhan) said...

That was lovely, thank you. My fave quote at the moment is from The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas: “He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.”

Great book!

Sue Jackson said...

You're right, Siobhan - that's a great one! We have The Count of Monte Cristo on the shelf here - I will have to get to it!

Thanks for sharing that. Do you mind if I share it on Twitter?



Siobhan (Chronically Siobhan) said...

No worries! Go right ahead.