Notebooks, however flimsy or fancy, are a writer’s indispensable tool. Mine are often (almost) eligible encapsulations of a moment that won’t come again, of humans who pass through your life for one and only one powerful encounter. Thus, in this process of collating the anecdotes that have spoken to me most I wrenched open the dozens and dozens of notebooks I have kept – strewn inside apartments and storage units across the country – to find the fifty most powerful phrases and ruminations uttered to me from people across the world.
But the truth is, I didn’t need written chronicles of these moments. Instead, the most influential words remain etched in my brain. I remember everything about who said them, how they said them, the smell of the air, and the noises in the distance. Words of poignance and power tattoo themselves into the crevices of your brain, forcing you to face and probe their deeper meaning and make you view and ponder situations in a new light.