Sunday, July 3, 2016

My Journey to Mississippi & Eighteen Quotes from William Faulkner

To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” ― William Faulkner

Back in May this year I visited a friend in Mississippi while I was over in the U.S. I learnt a lot about America based not just from what I was told about its history from my friend, whose family had lived there for generations, but from feeling into and picking up on the energy of the land in an intuitive and empathic way.

My friends land in Missisippi
I visited the city of Oxford while in Mississippi as well, which I very much admired. While there I explored William Faulkner’s former residence, Rowan Oak — a primitive Greek Revival house built in the 1840s sitting on 9 acres of land surrounded by old trees. ‘Bailey’s Woods’ is the name given to the area. It was such a peaceful place with an ancient quality.
While writing this I did some research and learnt a few things, and my feeling of the land when I was there fits right into this description found on the wiki entry for Rowan Oak: “Though the "rowan oak" is a mythical tree, the grounds and surrounding woods of Rowan Oak contain hundreds of species of native Mississippi plants, most of which date back to antebellum times. The alley of cedars that lines the driveway was common in the 19th century. The studs of the house are 4"x4" square cypress, which were hand-hewn. Faulkner drew much inspiration for his treatment of multi-layered Time from Rowan Oak, where past and future seemed to inhabit the present.”
Below is picture I took from Faulkner’s balcony.

For those who are not familiar with this individual, William Cuthbert Faulkner, born in 1987 and who passed in 1962, was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. He wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays.
His house is still in its original condition and contains many personal items as well as furniture left just how Faulkner had them when he passed. Around the walls of the house were some of his quotes based on his literary work, and I couldn’t help but make a note of a few. I decided I would look up more tonight and found a great deal more online. Below are my favourites. I did place them in a certain order to tell a story — not just about who he was, but to fit into the theme of

“The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”
“Civilization begins with distillation”
 “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” 
“No man can write who is not first a humanitarian”
 “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
“...I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire...I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
The Sound and the Fury
 “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.”
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
“If a story is in you, it has to come out.”
“I decline to accept the end of man... I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”
“The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself”
“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune.”
The Sound and the Fury
“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”
The Wild Palms

“Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
― The Sound and the Fury
“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind -- and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”
“If you could just ravel out into time. That would be nice.”
As I Lay Dying

I visited the Graveyard where Faulkner was buried, however, the gravestone was very difficult to locate. I ended up looking at photos online on my phone to help me pin-point down where it was, based on land marks. Finally I found it and took this photo below. I don’t know why I tried so hard to find it, as at one stage I just about gave up. Perhaps it was my own small way of honouring his presence and impact on our world.

About the Author 
Editor of, Laron is a writer, healing facilitator, poet and spiritual teacher from New Zealand. A strong passion of his is to expand the consciousness of others through sharing information. Science tells us that we are all creating what we see as the observer — we are all creating our own truths within every moment. While being a bit of a bookworm, Laron also has a Diploma in Energetic Healing, is a Dolores Cannon trained QHHT Practitioner, Reiki Master, trained Crystal Healer and Tarot reader. You can find Laron on Facebook.

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