All quotes by author Jeanette Winterson -- part two
"Do you wake up as I do, having forgotten what it is that hurts or where, until you move? There is a second of consciousness that is clean again. A second that is you, without memory or experience, the animal warm and waking into a brand new world. There is the sun dissolving the dark, and light as clear as music, filling the room where you sleep and the other rooms behind your eyes."
"While I can’t have you, I long for you. I am the kind of person who would miss a train or a plane to meet you for coffee. I’d take a taxi across town to see you for ten minutes. I’d wait outside all night if I thought you would open the door in the morning. If you call me and say ‘Will you…’ my answer is ‘Yes’, before your sentence is out. I spin worlds where we could be together. I dream you. For me, imagination and desire are very close."
"On more than one occasion I have been ready to abandon my whole life for love. To alter everything that makes sense to me and to move into a different world where the only known will be the beloved. Such a sacrifice must be the result of love... or is it that the life itself was already worn out? I had finished with that life, perhaps, and could not admit it, being stubborn or afraid, or perhaps did not known it, habit being a great binder. I think it is often so that those most in need of change choose to fall in love and then throw up their hands and blame it all on fate. But it is not fate, at least, not if fate is something outside of us; it is a choice made in secret after nights of longing. ... I may be cynical when I say that very rarely is the beloved more than a shaping spirit for the lover's dreams... To be a muse may be enough. The pain is when the dreams change, as they do, as they must. Suddenly the enchanted city fades and you are left alone again in the windy desert. As for your beloved, she didn't understand you. The truth is, you never understood yourself."
--'Sexing the Cherry'
"Hopeless heart that thrives on paradox; that longs for the beloved and is secretly relieved when the beloved is not there."
"She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it."
--'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'
"The truth is that I’ve spent all my life with my binoculars trained on the Maybe Islands, a pristine place of fantasy that is really no better than the razor-rocks of misery. Maybe if I had stayed on the farm… maybe if I hadn’t gone with Spike… maybe if I could have lived more peaceably… maybe if I’d met the right person years ago, maybe if I hadn’t done this, or that or, its cousin, the other. Maybe, baby, the promised land was there and I missed it. Look at it glittering in the light. But the truth is I am inventing the maybe. I can only make the choices I make, so why torture myself with what I might have done, when all I can handle is what I have done. The Maybe Islands are hostile to human life."
--'The Stone Gods'
"But not all dark places need light, I have to remember that."
--'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'
"The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home."
"There it is; the light across the water. Your story. Mine. His. It has to be seen to be believed. And it has to be heard. In the endless babble of narrative, in spite of the daily noise, the story waits to be heard. Some people say that the best stories have no words. They weren't brought up to Lighthousekeeping. It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language."
"I can't catch her by copying her, I can't draw her with a borrowed stencil. She is all the things a lover should be and quite a few a lover should not. Pin her down? She's not a butterfly. I'm not a wrestler. She's not a target. I'm not a gun. Tell you what she is? She's not Lot no. 27 and I'm not one to brag."
--'The World and Other Places: Stories'
"Walk with me, hand in hand through the neon and styrofoam. Walk the razor blades and the broken hearts. Walk the fortune and the fortune hunted. Walk the chop suey bars and the tract of stars. I know I am a fool, hoping dirt and glory are both a kind of luminous paint; the humiliations and exaltations that light us up. I see like a bug, everything too large, the pressure of infinity hammering at my head. But how else to live, vertical that I am, pressed down and pressing up simultaneously? I cannot assume you will understand me. It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear. Some story we must have. Stray words on crumpled paper. A weak signal into the outer space of each other. The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love."
"I don't know why it is that one kind of dark can be so different from another. Real dark is thicker and quieter, it fills up the space between your jacket and your heart. It gets in your eyes. When I have to be out late at night, it's not knives and kicks I'm afraid of, though there are plenty of those behind walls and hedges. I'm afraid of the Dark. You, who walk so cheerfully, whistling your way, stand still for five minutes. Stand still in the Dark in a field or down a track. It's then you know you're there on sufferance. The Dark only lets you take one step at a time. Step and the Dark closes round your back. In front, there is no space for you until you take it. Darkness is absolute. Walking in the Dark is like swimming underwater except you can't come up for air."
"Destiny is a worrying concept. I don't want to be fated, I want to choose."
--'Written on the Body'
"In the heat of her hands I thought, This is the campfire that mocks the sun. This place will warm me, feed me and care for me. I will hold on to this pulse against other rhythms. The world will come and go in the tide of a day but here is her hand with my future in its palm."
--'Written on the Body'
"Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough."