Quotes that resonate with me

I’m here on borrowed time, in a borrowed body. But I’m here.

Johnny Silverhand, Cyberpunk 2077

The line above, from my favorite video game, was what prompted me to create this page (on August 21, 2022). I’ve always enjoyed quotes, and my websites and online profiles have usually included a few here and there. I figured it was high time Yore had a page just for quotes that have spoken to me over the years — sometimes on multiple levels, in multiple ways, and sometimes with different meanings at different times in my life.

The quotes below are in the order I encountered them in my life, oldest at the bottom. They’re not all profound; this page isn’t an effort at making myself look deep, or anything like that. These are just quotes that speak to me on one or more levels which I hope you, reader, might also enjoy.


I’m flying by the seat of my pants, never creating with a thought to what’s up ahead!!

Toriyama Akira, creator of Dragon Ball (and so much more)

Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.

The Twelfth Doctor, “Mummy on the Orient Express”

The reason you are here is because someone supported your life.

Inoue Takehiko, Vagabond chapter 317 (spoken by Sōhō Takuan)

Some time after someone close to you dies,
The core of that person is the only memory of them that remains.
You get to know that person anew.
The core that you stopped being able to see when they were alive,
That’s how that person was to someone.
And it makes you realize that somehow you always felt that was true.

Inoue Takehiko, in the dust jacket flap of Vagabond volume 37

You can’t pin joy like a moth.

Holly Cassell

You won’t always be who you are now.

Katsuragi Misato, Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

Ideas are the cheapest thing in the world. It’s executing them that gets involved.

Joseph Pedott

Never laugh at someone for being interested in something you find weird or boring. That just means you don’t know enough about it yet.

Mrs. Bull

Little progress is better than no progress at all.

John C. Maxwell

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

G.K. Chesterton, who initially wrote this in a chauvinistic context, but later contextualized it more broadly as being “in defence of hobbies and amateurs” — which is the context in which I appreciate it

There is a bird and a stone in your body. Your job is not to kill the bird with the stone.

Victoria Chang, The Trees Witness Everything

When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.

Thích Nhất Hạnh, How to Love

Understanding is love’s other name.

Thích Nhất Hạnh, How to Love

I don’t look back and say, “I wish I was that guy again,” because I don’t. I love being older, it was great to be young but, I could be dead, I’m just older.

Harrison Ford

I’m just doing what I like and what I think is good.

Kitano Takeshi

If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.

Malcolm X

He needed to understand that there were people who would never love him.

Joseph Anton: A Memoir, by Salman Rushdie

I don’t need accolades — I really don’t, man. It’s about the experience, about knowing that I accomplished something.

Dave Bautista

We are but a frightened nanosecond.

Chef Slowik, The Menu

Anybody who’s not comfortable with hearing the reality — my reality — has no business being my fan.

Burna Boy

You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, episode 0107

The axe forgets, but the tree remembers.

Skeen, Andor

Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt.

Sam, Ronin

You will miss the Night City you imagined was there.

Panam Palmer, Cyberpunk 2077

We shouldn’t fear change itself, but only who we might change into.

Misty, Cyberpunk 2077

Sometimes I do wonder about my other lives, yet I remain grateful in this one, even with its tribulations.

Wong, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

And now twenty years later we’re still doing the same stupid shit.

Johnny Knoxville, Jackass Forever

Enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think

The Specials, “Enjoy Yourself”

Nanny’s philosophy of life was to do what seemed like a good idea at the time, and do it as hard as possible.

Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

One version of the Litany Against fear from Dune, by Frank Herbert

Nobody ever made a song called “fuck the fire department”

Snoop Dogg

‘Cause I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6

East Flatbush Project, “Tried by 12”

Their bodies are very poorly made. They’re mostly goo and juice. You just take the juice out, and then they’re dead.

Michael, The Good Place

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP

Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet

If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future – and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.

Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

Hold my beer.

Anonymous, generally said before making a gloriously bad choice

Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

Paul Bowles, as seen on Brandon Lee’s headstone

I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not mind.

Epicurian epitaph

I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.

Chirrut Imwe, Rogue One

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Leonard Koren

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.

Suzuki Shunryu

Perfect is the enemy of good.


Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.

Ed Viesturs

One more thing: Don’t spend too much time merely reading. The best part of this work is the play, so play and enjoy!

Gary Gygax

It’s not about how well you play. It’s about how you feel about what you play.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.

Reiner Knizia

Dude, sucking at something is the first step towards being sort of good at something.

Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Every morning I’ve got a new chance
I want to play the part of Eddie in The Stranger Dance
He makes love to the duke, he swordfights the queen
He steals the whole show in his last dying scene

Spoon, “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine”

If it is stupid but works, it isn’t stupid.

Owlknight, by Mercedes Lackey

I think a plan is just a list of things that don’t happen.

Parker, The Way of the Gun

None of us are getting out of here alive.

Nanea Hoffman

I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried like something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.

From “The City,” by C.P. Cavafy

into the strenuous briefness

From “[into the strenuous briefness],” by e. e. cummings

Everything is interesting if you look closely enough.

Carl Gottesman

We all have it coming, kid.

Bill Munny, Unforgiven

More weight.

Giles Corey in The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein

The first and last love is self love

Neon sign on a porno theater near Times Square, seen from a bus when I was around 10-12 years old

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

The opening words to Neuromancer, by William Gibson

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Zork I
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