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Michael Ondaatje Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Michael Ondaatje from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

It's why you create characters: so you can argue with yourself.
- Michael Ondaatje

It's a responsibility of the writer to get the reader
out of the story somehow.
- Michael Ondaatje

A writer uses a pen instead of a scalpel or blow torch.
- Michael Ondaatje

It's an odd state to be in, blowing the whistle on your home country.
- Michael Ondaatje

 

Truth, at the wrong time, can be dangerous.
- Michael Ondaatje

I'm a Canadian citizen.
But I always want to feel at home in Sri Lanka.
I'm a member of both countries.
- Michael Ondaatje

You don't want to write your own opinion,
you don't want to just represent yourself,
but represent yourself through someone else.
- Michael Ondaatje

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It's a discovery of a story when I write a book,
a case of inching ahead on each page and discovering
what's beyond in the darkness,
beyond where you're writing.
- Michael Ondaatje

As a writer, one is busy with archaeology.
- Michael Ondaatje

You're getting everyone's point of view at the same time,
which, for me, is the perfect state for a novel:
a cubist state,
the cubist novel.
- Michael Ondaatje

To write about someone like myself would be very limiting.
- Michael Ondaatje

It doubles your perception, to write from the point
of view of someone you're not.
- Michael Ondaatje

The last three books are much more a case of a moment of history,
what happened almost by accident or coincidence,
like being in the same elevator or lifeboat.
- Michael Ondaatje

The first sentence of every novel should be:
Trust me,
this will take time but there is order here,
very faint, very human.
Meander if you want to get to town.
- Michael Ondaatje

I don't see novels ending with any real sense of closure.
- Michael Ondaatje

In the book the relationship with Katharine and Almasy
is sort of only in the patient's mind.
- Michael Ondaatje

You want to suggest something new, but at the same time,
resolve the drama of the action in the novel.
- Michael Ondaatje

I tend not to know what the plot is or the story is or even the theme.
Those things come later, for me.
- Michael Ondaatje

The past is still, for us, a place that is not safely settled.
- Michael Ondaatje

When you're writing, it's as if you're within a kind of closed world.
- Michael Ondaatje

I don't have a plan for a story when I sit down to write.
I would get quite bored carrying it out.
- Michael Ondaatje

Research can be a big clunker.
It's difficult to know how you can make the historical light.
- Michael Ondaatje

I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door.
- Michael Ondaatje

Right now, I have no idea what I will write or if I will write again.
- Michael Ondaatje

Once I've discovered the story, I might restructure it,
maybe move things around, set up a clue that something
is going to happen later,
but that happens much later in an editorial capacity.
- Michael Ondaatje

That's Anil's path.
She grows up in Sri Lanka, goes and gets educated abroad,
and through fate or chance gets brought back by the
Human Rights Commission to investigate war crimes.
- Michael Ondaatje

Footprints in the sands of time...
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
Why are you going there?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie PHOTO

To live is to choose. But to choose well,
you must know who you are and what you stand for,
where you want to go and why you want to get there.
- Kofi Annan

There are those that look at things
the way they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream of things that never were, and ask "Why not?"
- Robert F. Kennedy paraphrase of George Bernard Shaw

People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.
- Zig Ziglar

Always listen to the experts.
They'll tell you what can't be done and why.
Then do it.
- Robert Heinlein

We may have our private opinions
but why should they be a bar to the meeting of hearts?
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

I can't understand why people
are frightened by new ideas.
I'm frightened of old ones.
- John Cage

Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called Present.
- Anonymous

Life is change. Without change, there is no life.
Why then do we so fight against change?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

WHY do you care what THEY think?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Urgent? Why?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Instead of worrying about what people say of you,
why not spend time trying to accomplish
something they will admire.
- Dale Carnegie

You see things and you say, Why?
But I dream things that never were and say, Why not
- George Bernard Shaw

Choose to See Beauty and Joy:
Much in life can be seen as ugly or beautiful - it's our choice.
Why would we choose to see any part of life as ugly?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Why need I volumes, if one word suffice?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are a hundred valid reasons why something can't be done,
but only one reason, Commitment, why it can.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Why, I'd like nothing better than to achieve
some bold adventure, worthy of our trip.
- Aristophanes

"Be Prepared."
"Be prepared for what?"
"Why, for any old thing."
- Robert Baden-Powell,
the founder of Scouting.
[as quoted in the Boy Scout Handbook]

Much in life can be seen as ugly or beautiful - it's our choice.
Why would we choose to see any part of life as ugly?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The reason why men do not obey us,
is because they see the mud at the bottom of our eye.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Why not go out on a limb?
Isn't that where the fruit is?
- Mark Twain

If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?
- Judy Garland

Ask why this task is on your to-do list.
Consider discarding those items to which
you are not truly committed.
For the tasks which do speak
to the longings of your own heart,
begin now, today, this moment.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Life is serious? Why?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed,
and in such desperate enterprises?
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
- Henry David Thoreau

Why live?
Adding one to my count of days, or postponing
a feared death by another day do not inspire me.
I live to experience something new each day -
to learn something new, meet a new friend,
bring joy into someone's life,
feel the wind newly on my skin,
touch a new fear, a new anger,
and with focused intent and good fortune,
find an ample measure of my own joy.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.
- Emily Kimbrough

Do you ever question why our educational system
teaches competition rather than cooperation?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everyone believes that their beliefs are the right ones -
that is why they are called beliefs.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I can see, and that is why I can be happy,
in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden.
I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world.
- Helen Keller

For as long as I can remember, I've been searching for something,
some reason why we're here. What are we doing here? Who are we?
If this is a chance to find out
even just a little part of that answer...
I don't know, I think it's worth a human life. Don't you?
- the Jodie Foster movie Contact (1997)

Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And If I am compelled to take part in it,
Where is the director? I want to see him.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Why does a woman work ten years to change a man's habits
and then complain that he's not the man she married?
- Barbra Streisand

I am a miracle, and that's why I'm ME.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I know why families were created with all their imperfections.
They humanize you.
They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally,
so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.
- Anais Nin

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as
six impossible things before breakfast.
- Lewis Carroll

I want to share with you the three rules
that I have in order to accept an apprentice.
Rule Number 1: Don't believe me.
I don't want you to believe me
but I want you to listen and make choices - your choices.
If what I say, doesn't work for you, leave it.
But if it works for you and that's what you want, then make it yours.
Rule Number 2: Don't believe yourself.
Why? Because most of your belief system is a lie - it's not true.
And by believing yourself, you create all the limitations
that don't allow you to be what you really are.
Don't believe yourself. Listen to what you say,
listen to what you think, listen to what you believe.
And when you listen, open your ears, open your mind,
open your intelligence and make choices.
Rule 3 is, don't believe anybody else.
Don't believe them at all.
Open your ears and your mind; listen and make choices.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Always question WHY you are doing something.
Is it a free-will gift or an obligation?
That which is done out of a feeling of obligation
is unworkable as a substitute for a gift.
Obligation creates a feeling of resentment on your part,
and evokes resentment rather than gratitude
on the part of the recipient.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We were given:
Two hands to hold.
Two legs to walk.
Two eyes to see.
Two ears to listen.
But why only one heart?
Because the other was given to someone else.
For us to find.
- Anonymous

I honor you, Hero, for you do not play to the crowd.
You play to your own soul.
An audience of one fills the house with its appreciation and applause.
Others follow you, and may attempt to emulate you,
but that is not why you are a hero.
Fame may smile upon you, or it may not.
The world may cheer your name, or you may be the unknown warrior
who rescued comrades in battle,
or taught a young girl how to shed tears of joy.
Whatever you did, you did not do for fame.
If you had, you would not be a Hero.
You are a Hero for your bold courageous inspired action.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Most of us believe that we have
been betrayed by someone outside of us -
in other words someone has done something to hurt us,
been dishonest or broken a promise made:
some trust in some concept was broken.
Indeed someone may have taken an action
that took only their needs into consideration,
they may have not followed through on a promise made,
and they may have not told you the truth.
But their actions have nothing to do with you
and have everything to do with them.
That's why no one can do anything TO you.
They can take actions that involve you that you may not like -
according to your point of view.
But you are not a victim, no way, no how.
- Sheri Rosenthal

Ecstasy is our very nature;
not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary.
To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous.
It needs no effort to be ecstatic,
it needs great effort to be miserable.
That's why you look to tired,
because misery is really hard work;
to maintain it is really difficult,
because you are doing something against nature.
- Osho

Misery nourishes your ego -
that's why you see so many miserable people in the world.
The basic, central point is the ego.
- Osho

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask "Why me?"
Then a voice answers "Nothing personal,
your name just happened to come up. -
- Charlie Brown, in Charles M. Schulz' cartoon Peanuts


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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