Running On Sober

I'm not empty, just sober

Words For The Weekend (Ho Hey, Spinning and Waiting, What’s Kept You?) Vol XIV

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 10/20/12 (Volume XIV). I hope you enjoy them too.


I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
But I can write a song

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart…

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers (lyrics HERE) from album “The Lumineers” (This song is SOOOO catchy! It’s been on constant repeat in my head!)

Alternate song: “Heartbeat” <– click for video, by The Kopecky Family Band from album “Kids Raising Kids“: (You may download a free and band-approved copy of this song via Rolling Stone HERE. This is another catchy and fun song!)

“I’ll keep the door wide open for you-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-h
And I don’t know know , I don’t know what I can do for you
you make my heart beat beat a beat, like a drum for you…”


They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience. ~ Joseph Conrad


In working with patience and fearlessness, we learn to be patient with the fact that we’re human beings, that everyone who is born and dies from the beginning of time until the end of time is naturally going to want some kind of resolution to this edgy, moody energy. And there isn’t any. The only resolution is temporary and just causes more suffering. We discover that as a matter of fact joy and happiness, peace, harmony and being at home with yourself and your world come from sitting still with the moodiness of the energy until it rises, dwells and passes away. The energy never resolves itself into something solid. ~ Pema Chodron


I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning. ~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Everything that I said I’d do
Like make the world brand new
And take the time for you
I just got lost and slept right through the dawn
And the world spins madly on
~ The Weepies, “The World Spins Madly On” <– click for music video


The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear. ~ Stephen King, Different Seasons


If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. ~ Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel


To be truthful, some writers stop you dead in your tracks by making you see your own work in the most unflattering light. Each of us will meet a different harbinger of personal failure, some innocent genius chosen by us for reasons having to do with what we see as our own inadequacies.
The only remedy to this I have found is to read a writer whose work is entirely different from another, though not necessarily more like your own—a difference that will remind you of how many rooms there are in the house of art. ~ Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them


He made my brain hurt in the best way ever. ~ Nicole Marie who blogs at wordsandotherthings, from “It is astounding, how many selves we have


When she was reading, her face would be like the face of one listening to music. ~ John Steinbeck, East of Eden


I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience. ~ Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life


I think of all the thousands of billions of steps and missteps and chances and coincidences that have brought me here. Brought you here, and it feels like the biggest miracle in the world. ~ Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall


WAITING by Raymond Carver

Left off the highway and
down the hill. At the
bottom, hang another left.
Keep bearing left. The road
will make a Y. Left again.
There’s a creek on the left.
Keep going. Just before
the road ends, there’ll be
another road. Take it
and no other. Otherwise,
your life will be ruined
forever. There’s a log house
with a shake roof, on the left.
It’s not that house. It’s
the next house, just over
a rise. The house
where trees are laden with
fruit. Where phlox, forsythia,
and marigold grow. It’s
the house where the woman
stands in the doorway
wearing the sun in her hair. The one
who’s been waiting
all this time.
The woman who loves you.
The one who can say,
“What’s kept you?”

“Waiting” by Raymond Carver, from All of Us: The Collected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf). (*Carver passed away from cancer in 1988. He was a recovering alcoholic who, with the help of AA, got sober in 1982. Read more about Carver here.)

Categories: Words For The Weekends

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24 replies

  1. I especially liked that passage by Shauna Niequist. So true. Life will pass us right on by if we keep waiting for something to happen.


    • I liked that too… even those folks that do have those “Big Moments” or those “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” still have the rest of their lives made up of moment by moment by moment. And that’s what life really is, isn’t it? A series of moments that add up to a hopefully well-lived, appreciated and enjoyed life.

      Enjoy your weekend Carrie, thanks for reading!


  2. Very cool song — thank you. And you’re right, there isn’t any big moment. It’s difficult to be present but it’s seriously all we have. The rest is an allusion. Remember in the movie As Good as It Gets and Jack Nicholson’s character asks some people, “What if this is as good as it gets?” All the more reason to make life, right now, as good as possible. Nice post, Christy — very thought-provoking.


    • That’s one of my favorite movies Brigitte! “Good times, noodle salad…” I wrote about it HERE oddly enough :)

      Glad you enjoyed! I wish you a beautiful weekend of appreciating the here and now. Thanks for the comment!


  3. One thing Raymond Carver taught me is that as a writer, your stories are never complete. He often re-wrote many of his short stories, if only to make them better. He’s the best short story writer I’ve ever read.


    • That’s high praise coming from you Gus. I really need to revisit his work! I love the phrasing:

      “the house where the woman
      stands in the doorway
      wearing the sun in her hair…”

      It reminded me of an old Tom Waits song “Old Shoes”.
      “Farewell to the girl, with the sun in her eyes…”


  4. I liked the quote from Nicole. You have good taste. Now I’m gonna be lost all day reading more from all these great writers! And you may have inspired a post…


    • Thank you! I loved Nicole’s entire post, but that line in particular just screamed out at me. She is the first of my blogging friends that I have quoted in my Weekend pieces. But shhhhh, don’t tell her that.

      Happy to have inspired any part of your musings. Always love when you drop by, thanks! Keep my spot on your sofa warm for me.


  5. The time is here and now. You are. Don’t miss out on it.


  6. Great post.. There are times I read something so spectacular I want to remember it forever.. Love that Raymond carver poem..

    Can I share this piece of a quote by Hubert Selby Jr *Author)
    “..I realized that I would die,
    and that just before I would die,
    two things would happen.

    number one, I would regret my entire life.
    and number two, I would want to live my life over again.”


    • OF COURSE YOU CAN SHARE! Always! I love to inspire and be inspired, and I am so enthralled with the notion of living a life with no regrets. (In fact, you have inspired me to make a theme of it for next week’s Words post. I’ll be on the hunt for some fitting quotes.)

      I really love that Selby quote, thank-you. My blogging friend Michele recently shared this poem by WS Merwin (I want to remember it forever):

      For the Anniversary of My Death
      BY W. S. MERWIN
      Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
      When the last fires will wave to me
      And the silence will set out
      Tireless traveler
      Like the beam of a lightless star

      Then I will no longer
      Find myself in life as in a strange garment
      Surprised at the earth
      And the love of one woman
      And the shamelessness of men
      As today writing after three days of rain
      Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
      And bowing not knowing to what
      W. S. Merwin, “For the Anniversary of My Death” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin.

      I particularly love what is inscribed on Carver’s gravestone:

      And did you get what
      you wanted from this life, even so?
      I did.
      And what did you want?
      To call myself beloved, to feel myself
      beloved on the earth.

      Sigh. So beautiful. Thank you for inspiring me this morning Lynne!


      • Wonderful poem.. Love Mr Merwin. This is my favorite poem of all time ( and I love hundreds) by Frank O’Hara:


        Have you forgotten what we were like then
        when we were still first rate
        and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

        it’s no use worrying about Time
        but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
        and turned some sharp corners

        the whole pasture looked like our meal
        we didn’t need speedometers
        we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

        I wouldn’t want to be faster
        or greener than now if you were with me O you
        were the best of all my days


      • The Carver inscription is timeless beauty.. thank you for sharing that.. Putting it my “little notebook of notables”


        • I remembered where I had heard something similar- Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy”. I’m sure it was the inspiration for Carver’s “Last Fragment”

          I’m on my phone, but hopefully the link will show up properly:


  7. thanks ROS for another beauty. And the “Cold Tangerines” book by S.Niequist sounds interesting. I’m reading “Seeking Peace -Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World” by Mary Pipher, and there is a part about appreciating the moments, rather than minutes in our lives. I think you would enjoy it. Thanks for the dose of inspiration!


    • I’m glad you enjoyed! Niequist has another that looks really moving: Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way. I’m really looking forward to checking it out. She is a faith-based author and talks about her relationship with God, but it wasn’t a “religious” book, you know? It was more of just a “piece” to her- the way I speak of running, or mindfulness, or sobriety, or my love for music…

      The Pipher book looks fabulous, thank-you! I’ve downloaded the preview for my kindle. It looks right up my alley!

      In this thoughtful and inspiring memoir, the author of the New York Times bestsellers Reviving Ophelia, The Shelter of Each Other, and Another Country explores her personal search for understanding, tranquility, and respect through her work as a psychologist and seeker.

      “There are three kinds of secrets,” Mary Pipher says in Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World. “Those we keep from everyone, those we keep from certain people, and those we keep from ourselves. Writing this book forced me to deal with all three.” After decades of exploring the lives of others through her writing and therapy, Mary Pipher turns her attention to herself—culling insights from her own life to highlight the importance of the journey, not just the destination.

      Like most lives, Pipher’s is filled with glory and tragedy, chaos and clarity, love and abandonment. She spent her childhood in small Nebraska towns, the daughter of a doctor mother and a restless jack-of-all-trades father. Often both of her parents were away and Pipher and her siblings lived as what she calls “feral children.” Later, as an adult and a therapist, Pipher was able to do what she most enjoyed: learn about the world and help others. After the surprising success of Reviving Ophelia, she was overwhelmed by the attention and demands on her time. In 2002, after a personal crisis, Pipher realized that success and fame were harming her, and she began working to find a quieter, more meditative life that would carry her toward self-acceptance and joy.

      In Seeking Peace, Mary Pipher tells her own remarkable story, and in the process reveals truths about our search for happiness and love. While her story is unique, “the basic map and milestones of my story are universal,” she writes. “We strive to make sense of our selves and our environments.” In Seeking Peace, Pipher reflects on her life in a way that allows readers to reimagine theirs.


  8. Another great set of quotes and comments, RoS!
    Haven’t been able to get into the Lumineers, but I did enjoy the song.

    The first quote, from Conrad resonated most with me, as did the inscription on Carver’s gravestone.


    • Glad you enjoyed Guap. I downloaded their album after catching “Ho Hey” on an episode of Parenthood (that show has the BEST music), but find myself listening really to just that one song.

      I realized after I posted that they just inversed The Ramones. “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” Speaking of The Ramones, I should’ve used “I Wanna Be Sedated” on my nitrous post. Haha!


  9. I LOVE that Lumineers tune. One of my absolute favorite when I’m out for a run. Some seriously amazing quotes here; I just finished reading Perks of Being a Wallflower and I fell deeply in love with every single line in that book. So many great quotes to pull from it. And again, so glad you enjoyed my post enough to borrow a little piece from it – glad it spoke to you in some way. Great post. :)


    • I adored that book Nicole. I have it on my kindle, and I must have clipped nearly 50% of the dang thing. I’m thinking of going the hard-copy and yellow highlighter route. I have a lot of Charlie in me… especially how he agonized over his mixed tapes haha. I “watch and absorb” a lot too.

      That. Song. Is. So. Damn. Catchy.

      What did Blues Traveler say? “It doesn’t matter what I say… The hook brings you back…”

      And thank-you for being a part of my post! I appreciate you!



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