Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Real life takes place inside us.

"It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight."
--Vladimir Nabokov, 'Lolita'

"Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don't stop to think, don't interrupt the scream, exhale, release life's rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life. "
--Vladimir Nabokov

"In spite of everything I loved you, and will go on loving you--on my knees, with my shoulders drawn back, showing my heels to the headsman and straining my goose neck--even then. And afterwards--perhaps most of all afterwards--I shall love you, and one day we shall have a real, all-embracing explanation, and then perhaps we shall somehow fit together, you and I, and turn ourselves in such a way that we form one pattern, and solve the puzzle: draw a line from point A to point B...without looking, or, without lifting the pencil...or in some other way...we shall connect the points, draw the line, and you and I shall form that unique design for which I yearn."
--Vladimir Nabokov, 'Invitation to a Beheading'

"A heartless hand on my shoulder
A push and it's over
Alabaster crashes down
Six months is a long time
Tried living in the real world
Instead of a shell
But before I began
I was bored before I even began"

“She was half asleep. There was an expression of dreaming on her face. I hated to interrupt her. I know how much a dream can be worth.”
--Richard Brautigan

“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.”
--Jeffrey Eugenides, 'Middlesex'

because i want people to understand what I think about so often. to think the world is as beautiful as i think it is. and i want to talk to everyone about everything. good god, i want to yell at everyone, "do you see it? do you see everything around you?" i would ask them, panicked. they old just keep staring up at me. "don't you notice it?? all of it? the world? it's fucking beautiful. and we trample all over it, raking away its blanket of leaves, scraping away its fallen snow so meticulously arranged, walking from a to b to c to d, fixated on a flaw in our fingernails, spitting gum out of car windows haphazardly. "don't you see it?" i'd ask. "it's wonderful and i want you to realize it," i would flail my arms around and be out of breath. but i could inhale and keep going.

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.

I am the shyest human ever invented, but I have a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up.

One of the conditions of being human is, even if we’re surrounded by others, we essentially live our lives alone. Real life takes place inside us.

"But for the record, I personally subscribe to the belief that normal is just a setting on a dryer."
--Jodi Picoult, 'House Rules'

My head is too full of ideas I haven't thought of yet.

You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.

You’re no longer the only one that makes me happy, Sun.

I've always lived like this, keeping a comfortable… distance.

The universe is constantly talking to you and showing you things. When something happens, stop, watch, and remember. Ask yourself, “What does this mean?” The fact that you are coincidentally there at that precise moment in eternity to witness what’s happening means that it’s yours. It’s the external world talking to you. It is showing you things about yourself. The seeming external world is, in fact, internal - and it’s talking to you. It loves you in its detached way.

"So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free."
--Tom Robbins

Sunday, March 28, 2010

“But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.”
--David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement Speech at Kenyon College

everything will be okay everything will be okay everything will be okay

"I’m a far more flawed human being than you realize. My sickness is a lot worse than you think: it has deeper roots. And that’s why I want you to go on ahead of me if you can. Don’t wait for me. Sleep with other girls if you want to. Don’t let thoughts of me hold you back. Just do what you want to do. Otherwise, I might end up taking you with me, and that is the one thing I don’t want to do. I don’t want to interfere with your life. I don’t want to interfere with anybody’s life. Like I said before, I want you to come to see me every once in a while, and always remember me. That’s all I want."
--Haruki Murakami, 'Norwegian Wood'

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”
--Vladimir Nabokov, 'Lolita'

“I thought, there is nowhere else in the universe I would rather be at this moment. I could count the places I would not rather be. I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand, but I’d rather be here. The majestic ruins of Machu Picchu? I’d rather be here. A hillside in Cuenca, Spain, sipping coffee and watching leaves fall? Not even close. There is nowhere else I could imagine wanting to be besides here in this car, with this girl, on this road, listening to this song. If she breaks my heart, no matter what hell she puts me through, I can say it was worth it, just because of right now. Out the window is a blur and all I can really hear is the girl’s hair flapping in the wind, and maybe if we drive fast enough the universe will lose track of us and forget to stick us somewhere else.”
--Rob Sheffield, 'Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time'

don’t forget to fly darling, close your eyes take a leap take a chance everything is alright i have me and everyone who loves me so much and everything will be okay everything will be okay everything will be okay. no one can take the me in me away.


I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed & that necessary.
--Margaret Atwood, 'Variations on the Word "Sleep"'

“I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”
--Charles M. Schulz

"If it is not beautiful for someone, it does not exist."
--William Gaddis

"I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you."
--Jack Kerouac

"But in the end it wasn’t up to me. The big things never are. Birth, I mean, and death. And love."
--Jeffrey Eugenides

"But maybe the Charm Bracelets understood more about life than I did. From an early age they knew what little value the world placed in books, and so didn’t waste their time with them. Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing, I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar."
--Jeffrey Eugenides

"Still not beautiful enough to make time stop."
--Robin Ekiss

"Meeting your heroes is always going to be tragic. You sit down with your hero and something has to change. That certainly happens to me. When I meet people who, I shall say, I worshipped almost - although I come away and I don’t dislike them - they’re never quite the same. You can never listen to the music in the same way again. And that’s why, as the great Julie Burchill says, maybe it’s best not to have tea with the one you love. You just turn a small corner when you meet them. And a massive chapter of your life is over and it can never be the same again. And maybe it’s just as well. And maybe you can grow up a little and stride into the future."

“i never had to be the pretty girl. i’m never the girl at the dinner party wearing the tight dress and the high heels. it’s stressful to be someone’s version of beautiful. i feel much more comfortable being silly. as a girl you grow up and you want to be so attractive, and, truthfully, if you take that out of the equation and you just do what you’re interested in, you’re usually more attractive, anyway.”
--kerri russell

"They take pictures of mountain climbers at the top of the mountain. They’re smiling, ecstatic, triumphant. They don't take pictures along the way, because who wants to remember the rest of it. We push ourselves because we have to, not because we like it. The relentless climb, the pain and anguish of taking it to the next level, nobody takes pictures of that, nobody wants to remember. We just want to remember the view from the top. The breathtaking moment at the edge of the world. That’s what keeps us climbing. And it’s worth the pain. That’s the crazy part. It’s worth anything.”
--'Grey's Anatomy'

i’m not going to be one of those people who sit around talking about what they’re going to do. i’m just going to do it. imagining the future is kind of nostalgia. you spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. you just use the future to escape the present.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I used to look at her feet and think she always picked the perfect nail polish. Staring at her jaw line and her eyelashes she was exactly how I always pictured my girlfriend to look. Flipping her hair to one side, her mouth half open she looked up from her book, paused and said with a snip, "what!?!" "I'm just looking." I countered, startled I was caught in mid-lurker gaze. Truth is, I wanted her to notice because I was too much of a pussy to look at her head on for any other reason. This is the moment that I remember. The moment that was the most intense. The moment both of our faces looked at each other head on. The drives, the movies, the sex…you never realize just how rare it is to have two people look directly at each another. I took advantage of the moment; I breathed in her exhale and felt the swoon they speak of in books. Like your hair is slowly melting across your forehead causing your eyes to close and your chin to lift. God himself couldn't envision anything so pristine. She was made for forehead kisses. She was made to accentuate reflected light. She was made to float when she walked. She was made good. Good enough to love someone who didn't deserve her love. She was made for me.

Things keep getting born in me.

I wonder if ever
I will be a bride
with a white lace gown,
standing in front of everyone
looking beautiful
because someone
loves me
that much.

There’s something about being wrong that’s important in life. It teaches you to reanalyze, to look at something from a new angle, to get the foot out of your mouth. Being wrong is one of the most profound experiences a person can have.

If you find you’re lacking anything, let me know and I’ll show you how to live without it.

"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life."
--Jessica Hische

"My secret is being not terrible at a lot of things."

“to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
--Ellen Bass

“Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again - the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world’s greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding.”
--Saul Williams, Said the shotgun to the Head

"Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, ‘So what.’ That’s one of my favorite things to say. ‘So what.’"
--Andy Warhol

"I want to keep my soul fertile for changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it’s time for them to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not read the same page recurrently."
--Donald Miller

I just want someone to think I’m special, to see me apart from the crowd, as worth knowing and loving. I don’t care if that sounds weak. I like independence, but sometimes it feels like a defense mechanism.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Unfinished business always comes back to haunt you.

You build your world around someone, and then what happens when he disappears? Where do you go - into pieces, into atoms, into the arms of another man? You go shopping, you cook dinner, you work odd hours, you make love to someone else on June nights. But you’re not really there, you’re someplace else where there is blue sky and a road you don’t recognize. If you squint your eyes, you think you see him, in the shadows, beyond the trees. You always imagine that you see him, but he’s never there. It’s only his spirit, that’s what’s there beneath the bed when you kiss your husband, there when you send your daughter off to school. It’s in your coffee cup, your bathwater, your tears. Unfinished business always comes back to haunt you, and a man who swears he’ll love you forever isn’t finished with you until he’s done.

Monday, March 08, 2010

it is enough to be taken care of by myself.

All quotes from StoryPeople

“Destiny? there’s only your time & then there’s not your time, she said. All the rest is made up to keep you busy”

“she’s a self-playing accordian & even when she’s asleep, her quiet breathing goes a-one & a-two”

“this is a dress-up box for the future & it’s filled with stuff like courage & love & play because they’re the only things that are any use at all when you get Right down to it.”

“knows most everything worth knowing but has stayed close to home just in case that changes”

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain & remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”

“getting ready to jump as high as she can just because there’s only so long you can sit politely & listen while people talk about any old stuff that comes into their heads”

"hoping there'll be time for a future he likes, but pretty well settled on the future he's got already."

"If I ran the world, he told me, I'd pretty much leave it alone & spend my time reading & I'd advise other people to do the same. Which is why I'll probably never run the world, he said"

"This is a special bike that's not very good at listening to excuses, so it takes you exactly where you really want to go & if you kick & scream it makes you pedal harder & go up steeper hills until you're too out of breath to complain & after awhile, if you're lucky, you start to see that it doesn't really matter if you laugh or cry, because it just wants to ride like the wind"
I need you to listen for just a second. I don't care if you only shop at thrift stores. And I don't care if you read nothing but classic novels. It is not important to me whether you are thirteen or thirty four, foreign or native, thin or overweight. I will not judge you. It does not matter to me what kind of haircut you have, what sort of statement you're making while you lead a vegan lifestyle or if you love steaks and fried eggs. Love sex, hate drugs, do cocaine, listen to Simon and Garfunkel. I'm not interested in how superior your taste in underground music is. I couldn't care less if you're wearing Urban Outfitters jeans, thrifted shoes, or a Hollister polo. It is not important to me whether you are a writer, a dreamer, a painter, a gas station clerk, or if you're living off food stamps. I don't give a shit if you're a hippie, a half-assed hipster, an atheist, a devoted Christian, wealthy, dirty, Catholic, homeless, Jewish, Buddhist, a smoker, a drinker, clean, or shy, I will not judge you. It doesn't matter to me how extensive your vocabulary may be, which independent films you've seen, what books you've read, how how your IQ is. I will still open the door for you. I promise. And I will let you sit near me if another seat is unavailable. Even if I disagree with some of your ideas. I will fucking respect you. I will offer you some common decency. And not because it's right, and not because you deserve it, but because that is what makes sense to me. This is what has always made sense to me. I'm a shadow. Neurotic, opaque, and drunk with fascination. I'm your friend. And you don't have to impress me. Because I'm not here to impress you.
And I thought maybe I’d never seen two boys jump like this, just pogo with fervor and heart and ten year old delight through two dozen songs - crying out those lyrics like they wrote them last night. Like they’d finally found how to say what they’d always meant. Just in time.

And this mean thought occurred to me: What if life is too brief to love people who can’t say what they mean.

And I nodded my head forward and back, kept their southern time with my knee. Brushed at the heat creeping up out of my dress and scarf and clinging unruly hair strands to my forehead, to the corner of my mouth. Wondered where all our words go. What happens to the old I love you’s, I want someone to tell me. Are they retracted by breakups or is there some universal half life? Do they drift by Borneo and Omsk, relevance dissipating by the week? Is there some rural refuse heap for words no longer felt?

And what of the people you love who can’t love you back. What of the declarations sent to guarded ears and formal hearts never quite ready to choose you back. Are they air off windshields? Letters coldly returned to sender. Old lovers ducked away from before eye contact in dark bars with new dates. Avoided. Maybe I’d thought they were kept in queue. For the right time. Maybe I’d never considered that they could just fall to feet. Dust back to dust.

I’ve been thinking about the people who want to love each other in this world. And maybe there are many. Maybe there are too many to stay so loyal, so in love with possibility that never seems interested in hatching. for you.

I want these burned down, heart broken, offered up words. These words of merit and trying. Again. Or no song at all.

Today should always be enough.

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, something real?"
–-Ray Bradbury

Life is about feeling someone pushing you from behind and realizing it’s you.

"When the tides of life turn against you and the current upsets your boat, don’t waste those tears on what might have been, just lie on your back and float."
--Edward Norton

Today is enough. You don’t need forever and always. You don’t need promises of days that never come. Today is enough, you don’t need the words that cannot possibly be true. Nothing is forever. Nothing lasts for always. Today should always be enough.

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.

"I want people to know that almost everything that concerns them in their daily lives is of no consequence whatsoever. Nothing and nobody is really important, so people, realising that, should get on with their lives, go mad, take their clothes off, jump in the canal, jump into one of those supermarket trolleys, race ‘round the supermarket and steal Mars bars and, y’know, kiss kittens and sit on the back of bread vans. Whatever makes people happy they should just do it, ‘cos time is a mere scratch and life is nothing."

“There is a quiet wind voice inside of me. It’s the same voice inside of you. Delicate and persevering, it led us towards each other. Across desert sand, traffic noise, solitary sky. I found your little house by the sea, and I never wanted to leave…”
--Monique Duval in the persistence of yellow

I don’t care what the world knows about me just so long as my mother never finds out.

Hi, I’m trying to figure out where to begin. I am 67 and have a grand daughter that likes this site. She doesn’t believe in love though. Well, I have been married to my wife since we were eighteen, but really time doesn’t matter because what we have is eternal and I discover more things that are beautiful about her everyday. I like the way her wrists are shaped, her hair is almost nearly askew in her bun, and how she breaths. I just want to feel her heartbeat and laugh at the ridiculous meals she prepares. We’re not perfect. Hell, no relationship is perfect. But, we’re a bunch of haphazard pieces that make something so amazing. I would want to be with her everyday, regardless. Just believe in initiation. Believe in yourself. Believe in the creases that form around the person you love’s mouth as they smile. And thanks, Laurie, for teaching me how to love. You’re my forever crush.
— Ray, a grandfather that knows love exists.