Pieces Can Stand Alone

When I was trying to come up with a name for this blog, I wanted something that roughly meant ‘to get lost within the details’. That’s when a particular song lyric jumped into my brain:

Man goes beyond his own decision, gets caught up in the mechanism~ The Scarlet Tide by Elvis Costello

There it was! The perfect tagline for what I had in mind.


This kind of thing happens to me often, a certain lyric, verse or quote will grab my attention for seemingly no reason. I always scramble to write it down. it screams out to me, regardless of the context or bigger body of work that it came from; it can stand alone all on it’s own.

Sometimes I just like the sound of it, the way it feels in my mouth when I speak it aloud. It is an added bonus if these pieces come to mean something; when they’re able to make a statement or small story within their compact space. I really grow to respect a verse, or even a single word, that can do that to me.

The taste of her breathe I’ll never get over, the noises that she made kept me awake~ Won’t Go Home Without You by Maroon 5

Sensual. Able to create a clear vision without going into too much detail.


tread softly because you tread on my dreams~ The Wind Among The Reeds by W.B.Yeats

This verse spoke to me from the very first time that I heard it. (I heard it in the movie, Equilibrium, which caused me to go look up the entire poem and who wrote it) At first it just resonated as a plea to others to please not be too harsh in relation to the things I had plucked up enough courage to share. Over time though it has become a reminder to me, to always be sure to extend that courtesy to others.


I find these slices of feeling in books:

Adventure is no more than discomfort and annoyance recollected in the safety of reminiscence ~The Journeyer by Gary Jennings


When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not “I love you” you’ll ken it was because I didna have time ~The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon


From movies:

I lead a small life, valuable, but small. Sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? ~You’ve Got Mail


I was dreaming about God. He was playing Tennis. Perhaps that’s where God is all the time and that’s why you can’t see him when you’re awake. Perhaps he’s our dream, and we’re his ~Empire Of The Sun


Even from television:

Jack is here because he has to do something. He can’t be told what that is. He’s got to find it himself. Sometimes you can just hop in the back of someone’s cab and tell them what they’re supposed to do. Other times, you have to let him look out at the ocean for awhile ~Lost


They all speak to me in their own ways. So while I too often get caught up in the mechanism and over think things, luckily I am also able to take small snippets of wisdom for what they are, without needing to plug them into something bigger and grander.

These little compact stories are able to teach me helpful things about myself, enhancing my life in ways that the deeper things can not. There is nothing to work through, there is nothing to move past, or on, from. I can just let them gracefully sink in, and keep them in my pocket for a rainy day.

…now if only I could commit to writing all of them down in one place, instead of on envelopes, schoolwork, magazine covers, my skin. and on rare occasions, even actual notebooks.

Don’t you see yourself in every picture you love? You feel a radiance wash through you. It’s something you can’t analyze or speak about clearly. What are you doing at that moment? You’re looking at a picture on the wall. That’s all. But it makes you feel alive to the world. It tells you, yes, you’re here. And yes, you have a range of being that’s deeper and sweeter than you knew ~Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis





5 thoughts on “Pieces Can Stand Alone

    1. yes 🙂 that last piece from “Cosmopolis” moves me every time I read it. and the verse “yes, you’re here. and yes, you have a range of being that’s deeper and sweeter than you knew” seems to have a constant presence in my life. some days I just have to shut emotion off because I feel too much, so that phrase reminds me of who I am, when I turn it back on 😉


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