Friday, April 24, 2009

All quotes from 'The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath' -- Part One

I like people too much or not at all. I've got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.

Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.

Yes, I was infatuated with you; I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation to me. I cut you out because I couldn't stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren't having any of those.

How complex and intricate the workings of the nervous system. The electric shrill of the phone sends a tingle of expectancy along the uterine walls; the sound of his voice, rough, brash and intimate across the wire tightens the intestinal tract. If they substituted the word "Lust" for "Love" in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

I have a lot to give someone, someday. But I must not be too Christian. I can only end up with one, and I must leave many lonely by the wayside. So that is all for now. Perhaps someday someone will leave me by the wayside. And that will be poetic justice.

I don't care about anyone, and the feeling is quite obviously mutual.

The future is what matters - because one never reaches it, but always stays in the present - like the White Queen who had to run like the wind to remain in the same spot.

Click-click. Clip-clip. Tick-tick. snip-snip. And it goes on and on. I could smash the measured clicking sound that taunts me - draining away life, and dreams, and idle reveries. Hard, sharp, ticks. I hate them. Measuring thought, infinite space, by cogs and wheels. Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.

"Character is Fate." If I had to hazard three words to sum up my philosophy of life, I'd choose those.

Sure, I'm dramatic and sloppily semi-cynical and semi-sentimental. But in leisure years I could grow and choose my way. Now I am living on the edge. We are all on the brink.

Love life day by day, color by color, touch by touch, because you've got a body & mind to exercise, and that is your lot, to exercise & use it as much as you can, never mind whose got a better or worse body & mind, but stretch yours as far as you can.

So why go places with guys you can't talk to? You'll never meet a soul that way --- not the sort you want to meet. Better to stay in your garret reading than to go from one party to another. Face it, kid: unless you can be yourself, you won't stay with anyone for long. You've got to be able to talk. That's tough. But spend your nights learning, so you'll have something to say. Something the "attractive intelligent man" will want to listen to.

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.

You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not.

It's all small stuff.

"There's something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself."
--Drew Barrymore

There are some things in this world you rely on, like a sure bet. And when they let you down, shifting from where you've carefully placed them, it shakes your faith, right where you stand.

"Adventure without risk is Disneyland."
--Douglas Coupland

"Just then a bee bumbled above us and stole our attention the way flying things can."
--Douglas Coupland

"Question: If there were two of you which one would win?"
--Douglas Coupland

“A hug can turn your day around, it’s like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you, and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety comes shooting out of your mouth, and you can breathe again.”
--Pushing Daisies

Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hold in your garden to put them in.

"‘Did your mom ever used to spray perfume in the air, and walk through it?’
‘Yeah, I think she did.’
‘Yeah, well, she’s like that.’
‘Like perfume?’
‘No, see, when you leave… you still feel her on your skin.’”

Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it's all small stuff.
--Robert Eliot

I know what you are learning to endure. There is nothing to be done. Just make sure nothing is wasted. Take notes. Remember it all, every insult, every tear. Tattoo it on the inside of your mind. In life, knowledge of poisons is essential. I've told you, nobody becomes an artist unless they have to.

There are moments in your life that make you.

There are moments in your life that make you, that set the course of who you're gonna be. Sometimes they're little, subtle moments. Sometimes they're not. I'll show you what I mean.

"There are two great days in a person’s life - the day we are born & the day we discover why."
--William Barclay

Willy Wonka: But, Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted…
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

“Yeah, I actually quite like looking through things. I feel quite connected to the past, and my memory. Everything that I’ve ever done I can still relate to, and feel connected to it in a way. There’s no part of my life that I look at and go, ‘I don’t recognize that person at all.’ Everything I’ve done, essentially, has led me to where I am, and that’s essentially the philosophy of my life. It’s all one thing.”
--Ian MacKaye

Ah, good conversation - there's nothing like it.

"Lists only spell out the things that can be taken away from us by moths and rust and thieves. If something is valuable, don't put it in a list. Don't even say the words."
--Douglas Coupland

I don't like when people swear too much. I think it shows a lack of vocabulary. And it doesn’t make you seem grown up. It makes it seem like you never did.

"Ah, good conversation - there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing."
--Edith Wharton

Love is so short.

But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.

Take it all back. Life is boring, except for flowers, sunshine, your perfect legs. A glass of cold water when you are really thirsty. The way bodies fit together. Fresh and young and sweet. Coffee in the morning. These are just moments. I struggle with the in-betweens. I just want to never stop loving like there is nothing else to do, because what else is there to do?

But lately I've been seeing it differently. Now I think it's about finding that one thing you really care about, that one special thing that means more to you than anything else in the world. And when you find her, you fight for her. You risk it all, you put her in front of everything, your life, all of it. And maybe the stuff you do to help her isn't so clean. You know what? It doesn't matter, because in your heart you know that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Hey, you and I are going to have a big love affair and it won't work but somewhere in the middle my god, we tried.

And love is either in your heart or on its way.

"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."
--Pablo Neruda

All you could do was take on as much weight as you can bear.

"Somewhere lodged in the lung of a New Yorker is an atom that once belonged to a man who went to work two years ago and never came back. His widow dreads today, because people will be coming and calling, and she'll have to insist that she's okay. It's hard but last year was harder. The kids will be sad and distant, but they take their cues from her, and they sense that it's hard - but that last year was harder. But what really kills her, really really kills her, is knowing that the youngest one doesn't remember daddy at all anymore. And she's the one who has his eyes. Two years in; the rest of our lives to go."
--Written in a New York Paper on 9/11/03

"All you could do was take on as much weight as you can bear. And if you're lucky, there's someone close enough by to shoulder the rest."
--Sarah Dessen

"The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears."
--John Vance Cheney

"And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can't ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it's already happened."
--Douglas Coupland

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being alive is sometimes tricky.

Our life is one catastrophe after another. Disaster dogs us. I'm the luckiest man alive, and you know what that means. Earthquakes, landslides, falling trees. Wind and rain and rising waters. What the hell, we survive. The coyotes are screaming on the other side of the field; it's a strange music. The stars are out. It's lovely here, and like the world, I marry you every day.

Orange peels tend to make me think my life is going to be beautiful one day.

There are a couple good things in my life and a lot of things that worry me and a lot of people I really want to know but don't. I try to focus on the good things. I am just trying to be myself, what else can I do?

I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream. Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are?

Just in case things aren't going well today, consider this a simple reminder that being alive is sometimes tricky. But you're doing a really good job. I am so glad to know you.

Sometimes it's easier to just miss people.

Sometimes you get up and bake a cake or something
sometimes you stay in bed
sometimes you go la di da di da di da da
til your eyes roll back into your head
you’re dumbstruck baby
you’re dumbstruck baby now you know
--The National

“You stand very still, like you were in the arms of everyone you ever wanted.”
--The National

"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here."
--Jim Henson

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
--Albert Einstein

The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.

You breathe oxygen? We have so much in common.

because i'm not screaming,
because i'm not loud
because i think before i speak,
because i question before i act
you think i'm not ready,
you think i don't understand
you are wrong.
i am ready.
i'll fight you now.
my way.

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
--Sarah Williams

We never stop doing this. Our bodies suddenly lightning, lighting up the sky. No way around it. We chew right to the bone. The days are still long and painful but there are flowers somewhere that no one planted. There are children who are pointing at a sticker, a lollipop, and it is all they need to be happy; to feel complete. We make it through, we get by and at the end of the day we sleep next to each other. We made it. We are finally here. Where we belong. It never gets old.
--Eric Shaw

You are too good for doors. Therefore, I pledge to open them for you. Car doors. Store doors. House Doors. Cafe doors. Many other doors. I'll open jars, too. You need not be trifled with them either.

I want something random, incredible, beautiful, unexpected. I want to be caught off guard, and swept impossibly too high off my feet.

"When I learn something new and it happens every day, I feel a little more at home in this universe, a little more comfortable in the nest."
--Bill Moyers

I don't know why, but sometimes this place makes me feel so stuck. & why do I always have such a problem being around people that I love? I guess I just don't like the feeling of obligation. I'd like to be around you simply because I want to be, not because I feel like I have to be. Sometimes it's easier to just miss people.

"I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world."
--Mark Twain

"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."
--Soren Kierkegaard

Half of my memories have gotten stolen, the other half is scratchy & faded. Still the most important things are in my mind.

They say that
nothing is wasted:
either that
it all is.

One day you're jumping in puddles, and the next thing you know, thirty years have passed, and you're telling your kids to walk around them.

Behold the turtle. He makes progress, only when he sticks his neck out.

I was struck by how good-looking he was, in that accidental, doesn’t-even-know-it kind of way. The way I see it, there are some things that are just meant to be the way they are. Some people believe that everything happens for a reason. And some people, well, don’t.

These are the words you wish you wrote down.

My head was too crazy. The thoughts bounced around inside my skull like a disoriented swarm of bees. Noisy. Now and then they stung. Must be hornets, not bees. Bees die after one sting. And the same thoughts were stinging me again and again.

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.”
--Sylvia Plath

These are the words you wish you wrote down. This is the way you wish your voice sounds.

I like her who has a cutty smile.
I like her who has a sweet smelling.
No, no. Actually I don't know the reason that I like her.
From the end of September, I like her.
I have liked her during 4 months.
1 month ago, I confessed her my mind.
However, I was not able to answer from her.
My heart is getting ill.
I wanna whisper her I like you.
I wanna speak her I like you.
I wanna cry her I like you.
I want to shout in front of her I love you.
But. I can't speak in front of her well.

As small as a world and as large as alone.

The skin you call your home holds a heart that quits and knees that buckle and lungs that can't breathe when they're alone.

“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”
--Paul Tillich

Maggy and Milly and Molly and May
went down to the beach to play one day.
And Maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,
and Milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and Molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles
and May came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose, like a you or a me
it's always ourselves we find in the sea.
--e. e. cummings

Friday, April 10, 2009

Everyone gets things backwards sometimes.

And there are thousands in the crowd outside everyday. And everyone's there. And they love me. And I don't care. Because they're not you.

All the hardest, coldest people you meet were once as soft as water. And that's the tragedy of living.

You think that you're fundamentally "you". That even without three meals a day, the people around you and the things you've been exposed to, you would still be the same person with the same ideas, morals, values and attitude towards life. But you wouldn't be. You would be "them". The great "them" that seem so stupid and alien and far away in other countries. And they're reading this right now, wondering if they could be you.

I always thought that I was sick and you were the cure. But everyone gets things backwards sometimes.

Being enlightened doesn't mean being happy. It means you're ok even when things aren't.

Unfortunately, you don't get what you deserve. You get what you think you deserve.

You'd think it would be easy for them to mark with red the cigarette that killed you so that you wouldn't smoke it, the drink that does you in with a label cautioning you not to, the kiss that ends the world with flashing lights that spell out the words "Stay Away."

If I were you, I'd be beautiful.

You're at the top of my list of meaningful decisions I need to make.

But nothing is wasted. There's no song you can listen to, no person you can speak to, no moment it takes to see things as they are that doesn't teach you something. You need everything you know.

Did you think I would forget how to love? It's like riding a bike. Everyone falls off and scrapes their knees sometimes.

You are the best parts of all the songs I love.

To find you and love you for all that you are. That's the reason I was sent to Earth.

We help people when big things happen to them, when you see them getting hit by a car, when a brother or a sister or a father or a mother dies, we're there for them because we can see that death kills more than the person it takes. And yet, the people around us who die a little all the time, moment by moment, who require the least help, the smallest sacrifice, are the ones we ignore completely.

Not the first one in the morning or the one on the TV, the well-meaning phone call on a Monday night one or some you find on the radio - The voice that whispers between your ears before you fall asleep, that's the one you pay attention to.

These things take time to remember. But you weren't always like this. I knew you before.

You are so full of the things that you don't have that you don't have space for the things you do.

So if you love me but you don't need me, you don't love me.

So may you find in each other what you came here for. And trust that this is love because it is (love is trust). And tangled lives you may lead but into each other, never apart, till you cannot distinguish between being and being together.

Small people only want one thing from you: Someone else to be as small as they are. Stay big.

If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it's not. Which is why it's up to you.

So this is how they send the angel.

All quotes from 'The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss -- Part Four

Why do people always get named after dead people? If they have to be named after anything at all, why can't it be things, which have more permanence, like the sky or the sea, or even ideas, which never really die, not even the bad ones?

BEING ALONE. Like the Living, angels sometimes get tired of each other and want to be alone. Because the houses they live in are crowded, and there's nowhere to go, the only thing an angel can do at such moments is shut his eyes and put his head down on his arms. When an angel does this, the others understand that he is trying to fool himself into feeling alone, and they tiptoe around him. To help things along, they might talk about him as if he weren't there. If they happen to bump into him by accident, they whisper: "It wasn't me."

FOR BETTER OR WORSE. Angels don't get married. To begin with they are too busy, and secondly they don't fall in love with each other. (If you don't know what it feels like to have someone you love put a hand below your bottom rib for the first time, what chance is there for love?)

Get out more, join some clubs. I should buy some new clothes, dye my hair blue, let Herman Cooper take me on a ride in his father's car, kiss me, and possibly even feel my nonexistent breasts. I should develop some useful skills like public speaking, electric cello, or welding, see a doctor about my stomachaches, find a hero that it not a man who wrote a children's book and crashed his plane, stop trying to set up my father's tent in record time, throw away my notebooks, stand up straight, and cut this habit of answering any question regarding my well-being with a reply fit for a prim English schoolgirl who believes life is nothing but a long preparation for a few finger sandwiches with the Queen.

Dr. Vishnubakat asked me how I got the name Bird. I told him I just did. If you want to know why Dr. Vishnubakat is called Dr. Vishnubakat it's because he's from India. If you want to remember how to say it just think of Dr. Fishinabucket.

So this is how they send the angel. With the name of the girl you always loved.

Sometimes I thought about nothing and sometimes I thought about my life. At least I made a living. What kind of living? A living. I lived. It wasn't easy. And yet. I found out how little is unbearable.

I remember the first time I could make myself see something that wasn't there. I was ten years old, walking home from school. Some boys from my class ran by shouting and laughing. I wanted to be like them. And yet. I didn't know how. I'd always felt different from the others, and the difference hurt. And then I turned the corner and saw it. A huge elephant, standing alone in the square. I knew I was imagining it. And yet. I wanted to believe. So I tried. And I found I could.

There are so many ways to be alive, but only one way to be dead.

Sometimes I thought about my life and sometimes I didn't think. From time to time, when the urge struck, I conducted a quick survey: No to the question: Can you feel your legs? No to the question: Buttocks? Yes to the question: Does your heart beat?

Now that mine is almost over, I can say that the thing that struck me most about life is the capacity for change. One day you're a person and the next day they tell you you're a dog. At first it's hard to bear, but after a while you learn not to look at it as a loss. There's even a moment when it becomes exhilarating to realize just how little needs to stay the same for you to continue the effort they call, for lack of a better word, being human.

It's strange what the mind can do when the heart is giving the directions.

I couldn't speak. I was afraid I'd choose the wrong sentence.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

This dress has pockets
You put your hands in the dress' pockets.
You are behind me.
We are watching music being played on a stage.
Orange saxophones
A facilitating piano
Violins like tree branches.
Your body moves behind me.
My dress moves.
I put my hands in my pockets.
My hands
with your hands
in the pockets of a dress.

There are no mistakes, only lessons.

This is where I have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away from here, this will be the midpoint, to which everything ran, before, and from which everything will run.

On rainy days I just want to sit home and wonder about what is going on. I want to wonder and let my mind wander. I want things to not make sense. I want to go back to my five year old self. I want a vanilla cupcake. I want to go to the front of my door and watch the rain fall down. I want to listen to soft, beautiful music. I want to make love. I want to make out for over two hours. I want tea. I want chardonnay. I want beautiful things. I want to write down how I feel and not be ashamed. I want peace and love and everything in between.

You want one thing that is simple and that exists just purely to please you.

It’s been one of those days. You know... those days where the only thought going through your head is, “I want to be on my bed, in the four o’clock sun with absolutely nothing to do but drift in and out of purple and gold dreams.” One of those days where your eyes burn and you can’t stop yawning and you need a couple gallons of scalding tea and an acoustic guitar. One of those days where you’d like to stop everything and learn how to knit, so you can knit yourself into socks and matching cloudy blue mittens and be cozy with someone. One of those days when you realize that waiting is making you exhausted and you only want to get to that place. You know that place... the one everyone says you’ll get to, that place where you’ll stop being tired and be overwhelmed with contentment and a tickling sense of belonging. Somewhere you can sit down, sprawl out on the grass, splayed like a star in the sun, and say, “Yes. This was worth the wait. This is where I need to be.”

"Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible."
--Cherie Carter-Scott

"The world is smaller than you think, and the people on it are more beautiful than you think."
--Bertram van Munster

Sometimes, if you aren’t sure about something, you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down.

It’s a funny thing about coming home… Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize that what’s changed is you.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.
Sometimes I wonder about things, just things in general. They start to wander in my head. They try to form sentences, but they're usually short. A noun or so.

We were talking and I didn't say half the things I needed to say.

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best—” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
--Winnie the Pooh

There are a few things I will miss, a girl with no shirt on lighting a cigarette and brushing her hair in the mirror; the sound of a mailbox opening, somewhere, and closing at two in the morning of the first snow, and the words for them.

The glass is always half empty.

It had been a long time in coming, like the swollen soot clouds of a coming storm, like the too-ripe fruit ready to fall, like the sun baking chocolate dirt desperate to bloom. So she let it come, the slow wet rising reaching her eyes, beginning to fall and fall.

The things about life that I've learned is that you're going to get hurt. You're going to have emotional nights and cry yourself to sleep for hours. You're going to suffer some kind of heartbreak, some kind of loss. But you will also have those moments where you heal. Those moments are the best. You feel like you smile for the first time again. You feel like you're alive again. Life just kind of restarts.

Today is one of those gray cloudy days where it seems like the sky just doesn't give a piece of crap. There's no texture. It's one flat shade of gray. It makes me wonder if the sky ever gets tired of its job.

I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth.

It seems like the simplest concept: just push them all away and you’ll never get hurt. However, the simplest isn’t always the most effective. Someday, somebody’s gonna find their way in, and they’re going to leave you on your knees.

Sometimes, love lost does not hurt half as bad as a love that never had a chance to grow. Sometimes you meet people that change everything, but more often, you change everything for someone you never even meet.

This life, it hurts sometimes, and you cry to sleep and you wake up heavy-hearted, but remember: the earth does not stop. Your heart keeps going and your limbs keep moving and you sleep it off, you wake up new, and you face the day with eager, shining eyes, and you love with a full, full heart.

“Sure, it’s good to feel things, and if it hurts, we’re doing it to ourselves, or so the saying goes, but there should be a different music here. There should be just one safe place in the world, I mean this world. People get hurt here. People fall down and stay down and I don’t like the way the song goes.”
--Richard Siken

Life has not forgotten you.

Close my eyes, open them back up. Plan a new life, and then another one. All the same. And so very different.

You can spend your whole life preparing, and still never learn the most valuable lessons that only come with doing. Quit worrying that you aren't ready, worthy or qualified. You aren't, and you won't be until you're actively in the thick of it all. Jump in and get started already. You're in luck; the very best time for beginnings is now.

You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.

The nine hour work day, the family problems, the best friend getting married. The chaos. The older brother who is a drug addict. The little brother who might just possibly be following in the same foot steps. The roots that are starting to show at the top of your head, the ruined mascara. The new black pants that just got dirty. The annoying customers. The mom who has lung cancer. The grandparents who try too much and who love with all of their hearts. The friends that have forgotten about you, the friends that you are trying not to forget about. The memories, the beauty. The things that you don't want to remember. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs, weeks and months. Years and lost friends. Life. Moving on. Getting somewhere. Making it, even if it was just barely making it.