In Which I Explain What My Favorite Quote Means
May 22, 2012 § 12 Comments
You know you haven’t been on wordpress in a while when you have to actually sign in to write a new post. But of course, *I* have no way of knowing that…
It was John Green that said in one of my favorite Vlogbrothers videos, “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” And I agree with this statement.
I mean, John Green should know, shouldn’t he? He has so many teenagers quoting him on their Facebook statuses that he could beat out Lady Gaga in a repetitive contest. Listed below are some of the most popular on Goodreads.
“Saying ‘I notice you’re a nerd’ is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?’ In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even ‘lame’ is kind of lame. Saying ‘You’re lame’ is like saying ‘You walk with a limp.’ Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he’s done all right for himself.”
“Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”
“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
And yes, those are all wonderful, lovely quotes. Quotes about love and imagery and being awesome. Quotes that are worth every re-blog, like, and re-tweet they can handle. But I think, just like John said, the people reiterating those thoughts? They’re saying just as much as he did in different ways.
My favorite quote from him personally however isn’t one of those at all.
It was in math class, sitting next to a girl who loves her hair more than her dog that I was rereading John Green’s latest book The Fault in Our Stars, highlighter in hand. I was reading the only part of the story narrated by Augustus, and not to give any spoilers away, it’s pretty gosh-darn heart breaking that part. And that’s when I found the line that really struck me.
“She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly on the Earth.”
In some back story of the plot, I should tell you that although this letter is about the main character Hazel by her boyfriend Gus, it is not written to her, but to an author the two of them used to admire. It was referring to the fact that, although Augustus wanted nothing more than to be a hero, to leave his imprint on the Earth, Hazel tended to differ.
You see, Hazel didn’t want to change the world. She know she was meant just to be on the Earth to love the people she was with, do her own thing, etc. And she walking lightly, doing just that.
But what do I mean when I highlight this quote? When I chose it of all the others to be my favorite? This is what am trying to say.
I want to be a girl that can be admired without trying to be admirable. (Hypocritical, I know, but true.) I want to be written about in a way that Gus writes about Hazel, loving–even to someone that doesn’t deserve to see that part of you. I love the way that Earth, and lightly, and walking, are all such powerful words in that quote. I love the harmony between those words.
And I of course love that what Hazel is doing. Walking lightly on the earth.
So what are your favorite quotes, John Green or otherwise? What do they say about you.