I have an excellent memory when it comes to minutiae, and I win at trivia games quite regularly – although it helps if I don’t get too many questions about sports. Ask me to tell you a joke, however, and I draw blanks. Ditto when it comes to producing pointed or appropriate quotes.
I do better at remembering paragraphs or books, perhaps because one only has to convey the gist. A quote’s a more precise endeavour. There’s also the problem of attribution: I rarely remember who said what unless we’re assigning lines to the various captains of the Starships Enterprise.
Perhaps I could follow a recent suggestion and use the prompt to share my favourite songs? I would have one: I struggle there too, though playlists I can do. Perhaps I’m not a singular-favourites kind of person?
If only I had some kind of visual aid? If only I’d printed a copy of a favoured quote and pinned it to the vision board that hangs behind this very computer. If only I read it every day.
“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.”
I was given a copy of this by some therapist or other. If this were an afterschool special, I’d remember each of them clearly and with warmth. Then again, television therapists are a different kettle of fish. But the quote stuck. I’d say, “for whatever reason,” but I clearly identify. Plus, I like the art.
There’s one other quote I know and love, though I didn’t remember it until I started on the above preamble. It’s from Star Trek: The Next Generation, from an episode called “The Drumhead.” It’s brilliant. I get non-Ed Sheeran Shivers just thinking about it. Ostensibly, it follows an investigation into possible sabotage. But Star Trek is the ruler of the metaphor: there’s usually more. In this case, it’s about paranoia, the worship of power, and the persecution of those we label “other.”
The title refers to the drumhead court-martials performed in the field during combat. Amenities on battlefields being somewhat scarce, drums were used as tables. Trials were quick, with sentences immediate and severe.
Captain Picard, who gives many a great speech, offers up this one toward the end of the episode. It’s a brilliant piece of writing by Gene Roddenberry and Jeri Taylor. In wisdom and warning them, to further quote, and as follows:
“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably…the first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.”