Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm working on what a soul is and not coming up with a whole lot.

All quotes by author Charles de Lint

“We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on. Not forever, perhaps, but for a time. It’s a kind of immortality, I suppose, bounded by limits, it’s true, but then so’s everything.”

"Everytime you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you're gone, that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back."

"I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don't want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic."

"There's stories and then there's stories. The ones with any worth change your life forever, perhaps only in a small way, but once you've heard them, they are forever a part of you. You nurture them and pass them on, and the giving only makes you feel better. The others are just words on a page."

"I finally figured out that I’m solitary by nature, but at the same time I know so many people; so many people think they own a piece of me. They shift and move under my skin, like a parade of memories that simply won’t go away. It doesn’t matter where I am, or how alone--I always have such a crowded head."

"That's the thing about magic; you've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you."

"I don't want to live in the kind of world where we don't look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can't change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit."

"There was nothing wrong with being a homebody. There was nothing wrong with not wanting - not needing - the constant jostle and noise of a party or bar or... whatever."

"Every time we fix something that's broken, whether it's a car engine or a broken heart, that's an act of magic. And what makes it magic is that we choose to create or help, just as we can choose to harm."

"Everybody has a soul." I turn to Pelly. "And that means you, too." "I'm not so sure of that," he says. "What does it feel like?" "Having a soul?" I look at Maxine, but she only shrugs. "I don't know," I tell Pelly. "I don't have anything to compare it to - you know, what not having a soul would feel like." We fall into a kind of awkward silence. I don't know about the others, but I'm working on what a soul is and not coming up with a whole lot. I mean, I just always thought of it as me - what I feel like being me. But surely Pelly feels like himself, so that means he's got a soul right? But if that's not your soul, then what is? It's weird and not something you really think about, is it?

"From the first time he’d met her, he’d sensed an air of contradiction about her. She was very much a woman, but still retained a waiflike quality. She could be brash, and at times deliberately suggestive, yet she was painfully shy. She was incredibly easy to get along with, yet she had few friends. She was a talented artist in her own right, but so self-conscious about her work that she rarely completed a piece and preferred to work with other people’s art and ideas."
Every day she built a house of cards, from her specific set of 52 hearts. She built different kinds from a one story ranch, a little cottage, an igloo, a 5 story walk-up, a teepee, and even a treehouse on top of a tiny tree — all of places where she always imagined you two might build a life of your own, but all of which would fall apart by the end of the day. Still, she would build and build and build and every day it would be something different, in hopes that this time it wouldn’t break, but little did she realize that paper will always be too weak to stand on it’s own, and what she really needed was a house made of stone, one strong enough to hold what you have together, one solid enough never to break down. But what does it matter how long that could hold when you don’t even want to come out from the cold to join her in this place of warmth? — a place she built for you two to own, only to become a place she realizes she might have to live in, alone.

"I still love Vista, baby."

"Turkey is a 20 pound Yankee Candle."
--Julia Moskin

You are now aware that you can't say IRISH WRISTWATCH.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked if he wanted to upgrade to Windows 7. He replied, “I still love Vista, baby.”

Today, I saw that my ironing board cover was wrinkled. I laughed at the irony. Then I laughed again because irony has the word iron in it.

I hope you never think about anything as much as I think about you.

“The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.”
--Marilyn Monroe

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

"Memory is a part of the present. It builds us up inside; it knits our bones to our muscles and keeps our hearts pumping. It is memory that reminds our bodies to work, and memory that reminds our spirits to work too: it keeps us who we are."
--Gregory Maguire, 'Son of a Witch: A Novel'

"Books fall open, you fall in. When you climb out again, you're a bit larger than you used to be."
--Gregory Maguire

"Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got."
--Sophia Loren

Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never think about anything as much as I think about you.

"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake."
--Francis Bacon, Sr.

You are an extraordinary woman. You have a purpose in this world, and hiding behind a fictional story that you are broken or incomplete is not it.

It's during times of disappointment that we make decisions in our minds that limit what is possible for us in the future.

We've got this obsession with material things as if heaven is ours if we're buying our wings.

Power isn't happiness.

"Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn't happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less."
--'Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past'

You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

"It's a hell of a start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."
--Lucille Ball

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pasha Malla's "Does She Love You?"

"If one night you go out drinking and end up back at her place, pass out together on the bed with your shoes on, and wake up a few hours later only to discover that you’ve peed the bed, which she takes in stride, changes the sheets, and then the next morning has a laugh about it, later leaves some pamphlets from the local health clinic about child bedwetters in your mailbox, and eventually after a few weeks tells your friends but never, ever tells hers: She loves you.

If she knows what song is coming next on the mix CD you made her: She loves you.

If she hides your shoes when you’re late for work, and from a supine position on the couch plays “Hot/Cold,” and, finally, after 15 minutes of you ignoring her screaming, “Boiling! Burning up!” every time you stalk angrily by the dishwasher, gets up, flips it open to reveal the shoes, sitting there among the plates, and hands them over with a kiss and a giggle, and then laughs some more as you tie your laces in a silent rage: She loves you.

If she calls you at work that day to ask, “How are those shoes working out?”: She loves you.

If when you get home you try to hide something of hers, she finds it immediately, shaking her head, and when she pulls whatever it is—oven mitts or stretch pants—from behind the couch, she looks at you and without any attempt to hide her pity, says, “I love you”: She loves you.

If you’re Gael Garcia Bernal: She loves you.

If you’re not Gael Garcia Bernal, but you’re willing to sit through a “GGB” marathon and agree for 10 consecutive hours that he is indeed the most beautiful and talented man alive—and so down-to-earth, too!—and afterward agree that his portrayal of Che Guevara would have earned an Oscar nod were it not for the implicit politics, agree that taking Spanish classes is a great idea, or salsa, or tango, whatever, agree, agree, agree, and that night lying in bed after sex that ends with her screaming, “Si! Si!” wonder aloud, “But you’re happy with me, right?”: She loves you, man—no one can compete with that Latin bastard. Forget about it.

If she puts up with an entire Stars of the Lid album on a long-distance road trip: She loves you.

If she dances with your friends: She loves you.

If at Halloween you’re invited to a TV- and movie-themed party and she dresses up as Winnie Cooper and you dress up as Paul Pfeiffer, mainly because you already have the glasses, and at the party some guy who’s a dead ringer for Fred Savage saunters up, peels off his mole, and says, “Get lost, Paul, Winnie’s mine,” and you’re left standing there while the two of them go off dancing to the soundtrack from Forrest Gump, and when two hours later she finds you sitting by the punch bowl explaining for the umpteenth time that, no, you’re not supposed to be Woody Allen, she holds up a tie stolen from a passed-out Alex P. Keaton to her petticoat and redubs herself Annie Hall, and you Alvy Singer: She loves you. And, to be honest, I sort of love you, too.

If she’s a zombie: She loves you, but only for your brains.

If she says, “I love you” on the roller coaster, right after you’ve puked down your shirt: She loves you.

If you go to a karaoke bar with friends and do a duet of “Endless Love,” and she insists on doing the Lionel Richie part if only so she can really belt out a big “Ooh whoa” near the end, and when you’re done she announces you to the crowd as “Miss Diana Ross, everybody,” and then gives you a high-five: She loves you.

If she plays pointedly with strangers’ babies at the park, intermittently looking over to you with an expression that says, “See?”: She loves you.

If her parents love you: She loves you, probably.

If her parents hate you: She might love you, too.

If she’s the youngest of four sisters, two of whom are lesbians, the third a nun, and the first time you meet her father he pulls you away from his wife’s gingersnaps and homemade iced tea to check out the vintage “titty mags” he keeps hidden underneath a bench in the six-by-four corner of the basement he calls his workshop, the only place in the house not painted lavender and decorated with images of kittens and/or sunflowers, and every few pages he points out a particularly luxuriant pubis, and when you concur—“Sweet”—he smacks you heartily on the back and before you know it he’s calling you “Son” and have you ever fished for pike up north? Because he’s got a cabin. What of this? Well, her dad sure as hell loves you. Welcome to the family!

If she ever says the words, “I hate you”: She loves you. Or she did at one point, anyway.

If she loves you, if she really loves you, you’ll know it. If you can wake up to her staring at you and it’s not even mildly creepy, if you catch her smelling the shoulder of the hooded sweatshirt you lent her for an autumn walk at the beach, and not for B.O., if she makes you a pancake in the shape of a shark, if she calls you drunkenly at four in the morning “to talk,” if she laughs at your jokes when they’re funny and makes fun of you when they’re not, if she keeps her fridge stocked with Guinness tallboys for when you come over, if she tells you how she wishes she were closer to her sister and that her dad makes her sad: She loves you, of course she loves you.

And with a love like that, you know you should be glad."

Pasha Malla's "Does He Love You?"

Question: I was intrigued by an older Non-Expert column, “Does She Love You?” Out of similar curiosity I have to ask, how do I know if a boy loves me or not?—Danielle

Answer: If the third time you have sex you’re both really drunk and as he’s finishing he squeaks out a pathetic “I love you”—and afterward, lounging casually on your futon, he tries to pass it off as something else, something like, “I love YouTube,” or “I’ll off Uri Geller one of these days, I swear, just as soon as I figure out how he bends those spoons,” then a) It’s a little early, and maybe a little creepy, but he actually does love you; b) He mistook you for his ex-girlfriend; or c) He mistook you for Natalie Portman.

If you’re Natalie Portman, he loves you. Although, Natalie, darling? Not as much as I do. Please email me for more information:

If the first time he meets your parents he talks for the entire dinner in that weird, overly enunciated, slightly high-pitched voice he uses for phone interviews for jobs he never gets—what you assume he thinks sounds polite but just comes across as effete and pitiful, and also somehow British—and when it’s time for good-byes outside the restaurant he hugs your mom a little too long and shakes your dad’s hand a little too vigourously and thanks them—again—for “the splendid meal,” smiling, smiling, and then as your folks drive away in a flash the gaiety sags into total, annihilated exhaustion—he loves you, the poor guy. Parents are hard!

If he stops making you mix CDs and starts loading your iPod with albums he clearly just wants for himself—”to share, baby!”—he loves you. Seriously, the new Stars of the Lid is pretty much a pop record! Don’t delete it! Give the sonic textures a chance!

If he bugs you and bugs you and bugs you to go out one night, pick up a random girl in a bar, and bring her home for a threesome, and then finally, as a test, one Tuesday evening over take-out Chinese you casually mention that you’ve been thinking about it and, sure, why not—and his expression twists into sudden, sheer terror at the prospect of the two of you desperately begging strangers to come back to your apartment, never mind the humiliation and shame—and potential exclusion—that would occur if you got one another’s clothes off, so when you say, “Well, what do you think?” he hums and haws for a bit before finally sputtering, “Ha, you know, yeah, of course, totally, but, maybe, uh, we should, uh, think about it, ha, some more, yeah?”—he, uh, yeah, loves you.

If he has a nickname for you inspired by your gastrointestinal troubles that he never, ever uses in front of anyone else—he loves you.

If just as you’re feeling desperate to flee his awful work party full of business card-wielding guys in architect glasses and girls tottering around on stilettos with blow-moustaches, he’s there with your coat, a stolen bottle of $50 organic white truffle shampoo hidden up his sleeve, and on the way out he farts beside his boss, who earlier had offered to “show you the Jacuzzi”—he loves you.

If on Valentine’s Day he’s out of the country but he paints a life-sized, full-body self-portrait that he has delivered to your door, and there’s a heart on the chest with a little sign that says, “Touch Me,” which then plays a tape of him singing a song about you that he wrote—he loves you. Now check this out: My buddy Jason actually did this. I kid you the fuck not. But before we start handing the guy Lover of the Year awards, let’s take a step back. If you ask me, this is exactly the sort of asshole move that ruins the comedy goldmine of ironic Valentine’s Day gifts for the rest of us. A few more guys like Jason, all “creative” and “premeditated” and “earnest,” and suddenly a used VHS copy of Mrs. Doubtfire and a half-empty box of Lifestyles become a transparent, eleventh-hour Hail Mary, rather than a hilarious and poignant commentary on the traps of consumerism and the true meaning of love, which is—what? Something to do with trust, I think. Or communication? Yeah, that’s it: trust and communication. Sorry, what was the question?

If when his mother calls he looks you in the eyes through the whole conversation, which obviously comprises her asking questions about you and him answering with vagaries like “Yeah, great,” and “For sure, really good,” and when he hangs up he doesn’t say anything, just sits there grinning like a total fucking idiot—he’s sort of a pathetic momma’s boy, but so was Biggie, and, whatever, he loves you.

If you have to set two alarms at night, one for the morning wake-up and one that marks the hour that the two of you absolutely have to stop talking and let each other sleep—he loves you.

If he fights a duel for your honor and wins—he loves you.

If he fights a duel for your honor and loses—hmm… What’s the other guy’s deal?

If when you die he dedicates two decades, his entire empirical fortune, and the muscle-power of over 1000 elephants to a construct an awe-inspiring mausoleum of pure white marble on the banks of an Indian river—he loves you. If 350 years later his descendents are actually able to keep the bathrooms clean, the German tourists will love you, too.

If one night you’re out with his friends and he goes on an extended, impassioned rant to defend the music of Sarah McLachlan—shit, I can’t get down with this one. Dude needs to spend a little less time building a mystery and join a boxing club or something.

If you start to get frustrated by how he quotes lines from music, movies, and books as proxies for his own emotions—man, this is just what we do! As Oasis have explained to wonderwalls of the L.L.Bean and soccer hooligan sets alike, “There are many things that [he] would like to say to you, but [he] don’t know how.” One of those things could be that he loves you, sure. Another, of course, could be that when you’re at work he puts on your underwear and twirls around the apartment whistling “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.”

In this spirit, sort of, if you read him the following bit from Brian Moore’s great novel, The Luck of Ginger Coffey, and there’s a spark of recognition or even something like exhilaration flickers across his face—he loves you, and he could very well continue to love you for a long, long time. Yes, it’s a test:

Love isn’t an act, it’s a whole life. It’s staying with her now because she needs you; it’s knowing you and she will still care about each other when sex and daydreams, fights and futures—when all that’s on the shelf and done with. Love—why, I’ll tell you what love is: it’s you at seventy-five and her at seventy-one, each of you listening for the other’s step in the next room, each afraid that a sudden silence, a sudden cry, could mean a lifetime’s talk is over.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I don't have a choice but I still choose you.

"It's not how old you are, it's how you are old."
--Jules Renard

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

I'm the sort of person that's always dwelling on the destination rather than the journey. Even when I'm in a great situation... there's always this moving thought that it is all going to have to end.

This is a blank map that lets you go as far as you want in any direction, with no questions asked, but it's no help at all if you want to know if you're going the right way.
--Story People

"It's about how you're like a lighthouse, always searching far into the distance. But the thing you're looking for is usually close to you and always has been. That's why you have to look within yourself to find answers instead of searching beyond."
--Susane Colasanti, 'Waiting For You'

"Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once."
--Wynonna Judd

I wish you'd hold me when I turn my back
The less I give the more I get back
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don't have a choice but I still choose you
--The Civil Wars, Poison & Wine

Look for the dream that keeps coming back. It is your destiny.

"Probably the closest things to perfection are the huge absolutely empty holes that astronomers have recently discovered in space. If there’s nothing there, how can anything go wrong?"
--Richard Brautigan

"No one ever tells you that you’re never going to feel grown up."

I still feel like you only know what you're doing after you've done it.

"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."
--Nick Hornby, 'High Fidelity'

"Go be that starving Artist you're afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what's on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world. You'll thank yourself for it."
--Jason Mraz

"I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket."
--Ray Bradbury

"He went down trying not to look long at her, as though she were the sun, but he saw her, as one sees the sun, without looking."
--Leo Tolstoy

"Here's to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don't even care."
--Leonard Cohen

"There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't."
--Leonard Cohen

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."
--Ray Bradbury

let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she
--e. e. cummings

"People work too hard to figure out the meaning of their lives. Why ME, why NOW. The truth is, sometimes things don’t happen to you for a reason. Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time for someone else."
--Jodi Picoult

Today is the day to: dream of trips to Paris, listen to Simon & Garfunkle, Karen Ann, & Beth Orton, draw comics, celebrate, write letters, drink coffee, believe in more, read books, buy flowers, take a walk, take a compliment, eat fresh fruit, let go, kiss your boyfriend, love your cat, plan on a cupcake, think up new ideas, compliment your mom, rock out, stare at clouds, take polaroids, laugh out loud, make a list, turn off the computer, buy new shoes, shave your legs, talk to muses, feel GREAT, plan a trip, a dream, a way to take over the world, finish something that is still unfinished, believe you can DO IT ALL.

You want to keep the world the way it is. Every generation wants to be the last. Every generation hates the next trend in music they can't understand. We hate to give up those reigns of our culture. To find our own music playing in elevators.

I like to need things.

Alone people don't like hearing about together people.

I prefer riding the subway when it's crowded because then I can pretend the person next to me is with me. "Oh we're just having a silly argument is why we're not speaking right now," is what I'd say if anyone asks. No one ever asks.
--Tiny Ghosts

"I like the idea of being alone. I like the idea of often being alone in all aspects of my life. I like to feel lonely. I like to need things."
--Robert Plant

When you least expected it, life surprises you.

The incredible history of my feelings and my thoughts could fill up a dozen leather-bound books. But the story of my life - my behavior, my actions - that’s a slim volume. I’ve always thought it would be terribly boring. What would be in it? Chapter One: My Childhood. I was born, I cried. Chapter Two: The Rest: I maintained myself.
--Wallace Shawn

"We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep — it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so."
--Michael Cunningham

"The trouble with life isn't that there is no answer, it's that there are so many answers."
--Ruth Benedict

"I'm thinking that it might actually be possible for things to work out sometimes. Definitely not everything and maybe not the way you imagined. But sometimes, when you least expected it, life surprises you."
--Susane Colasanti, 'When It Happens'

"If there is no passion in your life, then have you ever really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you, and you will find that great things will happen for you, to you, and because of you."
--T. Alan Armstrong

I mainly like life to be peaceful with a few loud noises thrown in to remind me to be grateful for the quiet I have.
--Story People

I think we still love what we always loved.

To say I love you more than life is misleading. I love you in a way that makes life more.
--Tiny Ghosts

"Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties."
--Jules Renard

"I want to tell Tobey about when I was standing in this exact same place last summer, wishing for him to be real. But it's hard to remember life before Tobey. He makes eveything seem possible. Like whatever you feel is true, really true in your heart, you can make happen. And you just know, when it happens, its for real. And there are a million possibilities. Like the possibility of going separate ways. Together."
--Susane Colasanti, 'When It Happens'

"Find out what you love.
Do it because you love it.
Stick with it.
Start now."
— Barbara Sher

"And we danced too wild, and we sang too long, and we hugged too hard, and we kissed too sweet, and threw our heads and howled just as loud as we wanted to howl, because by now we were all old enough to know that what looks like crazy on an ordinary day, looks a lot like love if you catch it in the moonlight."
--Pearl Cleage

I can’t stand the way people say, “When I was a child, I loved elephants,” “When I was a child, I loved balloons.” Are they trying to say that if they stopped and looked at a balloon today or at an elephant today, they would not love them? Why wouldn’t they love them? I think we still love what we always loved.. How could we not?
--Wallace Shawn

All you have to say is yes.

"I wish I could say everything there was to say in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end."
--Leonard Cohen

"To tell it is to live through it all again. Actions are the first tragedy in life, words are the second."
--Oscar Wilde

"I do not care what car you drive. Where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this years cutting edge. If your trust fund is unlimited. If you are A-list B-list or never heard of you list. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own. The only thing I will remember you by. I will not fall in love with your bones and skin. I will not fall in love with the places you have been. I will not fall in love with anything but the words that flutter from your extraordinary mind."
--Andre Jordan, 'Extraordinary Mind'

"Sometimes you meet yourself on the road before you have a chance to learn the appropriate greeting. Faced with your own possibilities, the hard part is knowing a speech is not required. All you have to say is yes."
--Pearl Cleage, 'What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day'

The way you make me feel is like,

Smelling fresh cut grass or being in the back of a convertible under the stars. Or returning home from a long trip or just driving with no destination in the summer. It's like the feeling you get when you get an 'A' on your report card and your parents tell you how proud they are. Or when you hear your family laugh together or the whooshing of a tunnel when you drive with the windows down. It's like when you're outside on a hot summer day and you have a cold glass of water or when you talk to an old friend after a month or two, yet the two of you are still as close as ever.

It's like the feeling you get when you hear your favorite childhood song on the radio for the first time in years, you turn it up and feel so alive. Or lying in bed watching a snow storm, knowing you don't have to get up for hours and get to just lay in the warmth or your comforters for hours. It's the way your stomach flip flops during your first true kiss, or how your body feels when you take off in an airplane for the first time. Or when you drive around in the front seat of a car that belongs to the boy you like and even though you should feel scared beyond control because he's driving so fast and stupid, yet you feel so safe and alive. Yeah, that feeling.

The way you make me feel, feels good to me.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I said, I want to tell you something.
She said, You can tell me tomorrow.
I had never told her how much I loved her.
She was my sister.
We slept in the same bed.
There was never a right time to say it.
It was always unnecessary.
The books in my father’s shed were sighing.
The sheets were rising and falling around me with Anna’s breathing.
I thought about waking her.
But it was unnecessary.
There would be other nights.
And how can you say I love you to someone you love?
I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her.
Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you.
It’s always necessary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There are no guarantees about anything.

All quotes from 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult

"I'm telling you, if aliens landed on earth today and took a good hard look at why babies get born, they'd conclude that most people have children by accident, or because they drink too much on a certain night, or because birth control isn't one hundred percent, or for a thousand other reasons that aren't very flattering."

"When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

"I think there are crossroads in our lives when we make grand, sweeping decisions without even realizing it. Like scanning the newspaper headline at a red light, and therefore missing the rogue van that jumps the line of traffic. Entering a coffee shop on a whim and meeting the man you will marry one day, while he's digging for change at the counter. Or this one: instructing your husband to meet you, when for hours you have been convincing yourself that it's nothing important at all."

"She is the person I ran to when I got my first period; the one who helped me knit back together my first broken heart; the hand I would reach for in the middle of the night when I could no longer remember which side our father parted his hair on, or what it sounded like when our mother laughed. No matter what she is now, before all that, she was my built-in best friend."

"Take it from me: love has all the lasting performance of a rainbow -- beautiful while it's there, and just as likely to have disappeared by the time you blink."

"A runaway train is an accident. Me, I'll jump in front of the tracks. I'll even tie myself down in front of the speeding engine. There's still some illogical part of me that still believes if you want Superman to show up, first there's got to be someone worth saving."

"Not everyone dies of old age. People get run over by cars. People crash in airplanes. People choke on peanuts. There are no guarantees about anything, least of all one's future."

"I looked at her, and for just a splinter of a minute saw the woman she used to be -- one who knew where to find her smile, instead of having to rummage for it; one who always messed up punch lines and still got a laugh; one who could reel me in without even trying."

"You can stay up all night and still not count all the ways to lose the people you love."

"The older couples, the ones sporting wedding bands that wink with their silverware, eat without the pepper of conversation. Is it because they are so comfortable, they already know what the other is thinking? Or is it because after a certain point, there is simply nothing left to say."

"My family is famous for lying to ourselves by omission: if we don't talk about it, then-presto! -- there's no more lawsuit, no more kidney failure, no worries at all."

"I have never understood why it is called losing a child. No parent is that careless. We all know exactly where our sons and daughters are; we just don't necessarily want them to be there."

"Summertime, I think, is a collective unconscious. We all remember the notes that made up the song of the ice cream man; we all know what it feels like to brand our thighs on a playground slide that's heated up like a knife in a fire; we all have lain on our backs with our eyes closed and our hearts beating across the surface of our lids, hoping that this day will stretch just a little longer than the last one, when in fact it's all going in the other direction."

"It doesn't take a whole long life to realize that what we deserve to have, we rarely get."

"Sometimes to get what you want the most, you have to do what you want the least."

"A lie has a taste all its own. Blocky and bitter and never quite right, like when you pop a piece of fancy chocolate into your mouth expecting toffee filling and you get lemon zest instead."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The real trick is knowing to stop before you get confused.

"I only do this until I get dizzy and then I lay down on my back and watch the clouds," she said. "It sounds simple but you won't believe how many people forget the second part."

"I'm on my way to the future," she said & I said, "But you're just sitting there listening" & she smiled & said, "It's harder than you'd think with all the noise everyone else is making."

When I first met her, I knew in a moment I'd have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there'd be room for her to stay

I figured out that if I keep it up, someday I'll probably get wise enough to be silly in public but I probably won't wait that long.

"How hard is it to make stuff up?" she said. "Not hard at all," I said. The real trick is knowing to stop before you get confused.

The sound of what cannot be seen sings in everything that can & there is nothing more to it than that.

I wonder how much of my life is convinced.

"I guess that's the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same."
--Jay Asher, 'Thirteen Reasons Why'

"When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it. "
--Boris Pasternak

"Man is born to live, not to prepare for life."
--Boris Pasternak

"Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. "I'm okay" we say. "I'm alright". But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can't get it off. That's when you realize that sometimes it isn't even an answer - it's a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced."
--'The Book Thief'

"The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it's really a different kind of life."
--R. Buckminster Fuller

"Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men - living and dead - and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received, and am still receiving."
--Albert Einstein

"You spend a much larger part of your life being old, not young. Rules change along the way. The first things to go are those things you thought were eternal."
--Douglas Coupland

You are totally capable of experiencing happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment right now. All you have to do is start living your life like you count.

You learn to love by loving.

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.”
--Anatole France

Once upon a time, I wanted to know what love was. Love is there if you want it to be. You just have to see that it's wrapped in beauty and hidden away in between the seconds of your life. If you don't stop for a minute, you might miss it.

"Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."
--Chuck Klosterman, 'Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story'

"Recipe for a happy marriage: My wife and I always hold hands. If I let go, she shops."
--Red Skelton

She was the book thief without the words.

"He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world. She was the book thief without the words. Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain."
--Mark Zusak, 'The Book Thief'

"I want words at my funeral. But I guess that means you need life in your life."
--Mark Zusak, 'The Book Thief'

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
--Mark Twain

I try too hard to find the words to tell you what you are to me; sometimes I would prefer a more efficient means of communication. If I could spell things out across your skin with just my fingertips, or whisper all my secrets against your lips without a sound -- if you could drink the thoughts straight from my mind, and taste them, sweet and bitter and all things in-between, going down your throat. Any of these things might end up preferable to me, fumbling around inside my head for words big enough to contain vast spaces (and always, always failing).

You're the pilot.

The important thing about learning to wait, I feel sure, is to know what you are waiting for.

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.

When television is good, nothing is better. When it's bad, nothing is worse.

After a day spent staring at a computer monitor, think of a book as a kind of screen saver for your brain.

"We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view."
--Mao Tse-tung

There are three types of bones: a)wish bones b) jaw bones c) back bones. Wish bones dream of doing things; jaw bones talk about doing things; and back bones actually accomplish things. Be a back bone, as the future belongs to those who dare.

"Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
--Max Ehrmann's Desiderata

You experience me. You relive us. You're so happy. And then so sad when you open your eyes and realize I'm not really there. That's when you miss me the most. Desperately. Tell me I didn't imagine it, Leo. Tell me that even though our bodies were in separate states, our star selves shared an enchanted place. Tell me that right around noon today (eastern time) you had the strangest sensation: a tiny chill on your shoulder... a flutter in the heart... a shadow of strawberry-banana crossing your tongue.... Tell me you whispered my name.

“It’s called thinking. Go with it.”
--Meredith, 'Grey’s Anatomy'

You set up your place in my thoughts, moved in and made my thinking crowded.

Sometimes you've got to fall just to remember how far from the bottom you are.

You're the best book I ever read.
You're the smartest thing I ever said.
You're breakfast in bed.

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."
--Winston Churchill

"The nail that sticks out farthest gets hammered the hardest."
--Patrick Jones, 'Nailed'

"To be a person is to have a story to tell."
--Isak Dinesen

"Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home."
--James Joyce

“Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done”
--Hubert Shelby Jr.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.

She turned her can'ts into cans, and her dreams into plans.

"You can't finish the things you weren't supposed to start."
--Laura Dave, 'London Is the Best City in America'

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
--Margaret Thatcher

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end."
--Margaret Thatcher

Figure out what it is you don't do very well, and then don't do it.

This month, I got three birthday cards, and it's not even the fifteenth. Last month, I got four. The month before, I got six cards. Most of these people I can't remember. God bless them, they'll never forget me.

Weather is here. Wish you were beautiful.

I love when the sky is grey. When the dawn paints the roofs of the buildings and the sun is still hiding. The city is ours then. Right before everyone takes over, right when everyone is still sleeping. It’s hard to notice that it’s so cold when it’s this pretty.

And I wonder if everything could ever feel this real forever. If anything could ever be this good again.
--Foo Fighters

You can never really know someone completely. That's why it's the most terrifying thing in the world, really taking someone on faith, hoping they'll take you on faith too. It's such a precarious balance. It's a wonder we do it at all. And yet...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

You are the baby in the barn.

All quotes by author Sylvia Plath

"Kiss me and you'll know how important I am."

"What did my fingers do before they held him? What did my heart do, with its love?"

"I love my rejection slips. They show me I try."

"I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same."

"You are the one. Solid the spaces lean on, envious. You are the baby in the barn."

"I guess I should have reacted the way most of the other girls were, but I couldn't get myself to react. I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo."

"I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don't want to look around any more: I don't need to look around for anything."
--'The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath'

"I wonder about all the roads not taken and am moved to quote Frost...but won't. It is sad to be able only to mouth other poets. I want someone to mouth me."

"Why can't I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits best and is most becoming?"

"The ways to hell on earth are easy, and one can always cross out hell and scribble in heaven. So much sweeter that way."