Prompt: Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
I don’t have a quote that I return to again and again. But I recently watched the movie Castaway and there was a quote in it that really struck me. It’s something that I think I was supposed to hear at this time in my life. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so if you haven’t seen it, don’t read any further.
Near the end of the movie, Tom Hanks’ character is rescued. He is speaking to someone and explaining how much pain he’s in because his fiancé from before his plane accident has remarried. He has lost her because she assumed he had died. He says that after he was stranded, he told himself he had to stay alive on the island and simply keep breathing, and one day, the tide came in and brought him a sail. (He used that makeshift sail to escape to freedom and be rescued).
He compares his current hopelessness about the relationship to that moment. Although he feels empty and alone without the woman he loves, he know he has to just keep breathing and stay alive because “Who knows what the tide could bring?”
There is so much truth to that quote. I was moved by this moment in the film and the sincerity with which he spoke the line. There have been many times in my life when I’ve felt hopeless, but then something happens to turn my whole mood/day/life around, and it’s usually something that I could never see coming.
So I don’t think there’s any sense in believing that the future will be a continuation of the past. It only will if we don’t allow our minds to expand and see the real possibilities out there. It’s like that line from a Garbage song, “Nothing in life is set in stone, there’s nothing that can’t be turned around.”
I think we hear the things we are meant to hear and they affect us in ways to make us learn, open our eyes and all senses and simply observe. There are always messages coming to us. Every day is a new chance to start over.
Below is a fuller version of the quote, along with another quote from this film that has stayed with me:
“I had power over *nothing*. And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass… And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
“The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”
-Main character reading from a birthday card
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