No Great Illusion

Caroline is a former film student, kindred spirit, frequent subway-crier, and headboard enthusiast. She lives in Brooklyn.

My writing here.

Send me a letter: nogreatillusion [at] gmail [dot] com

“If you’re good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can’t be wrong.”

—   Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (via quotes-shape-us)

(via kdecember)


What I’d Wear : The Outfit Database
(source : Stockholm Streetstyle )

Hot Breeze Recipe

Made these as a little aperitif this evening.

“It takes the way someone asks a question to know
if you really want to know them.”

—   Alex Dimitrov, from You Were Blond Once (via violentwavesofemotion)

(via kdecember)

“The moment of change is the only poem.”

The kitchen is looking especially lovely today.

“I knew it was all over. I was lost. From this moment on, it would be a touching, an eating of foods, a learning of language and algebra and logic, a movement and an emotion, a kissing and a holding, a whirl of feeling that caught and sucked me drowning under. I knew I was lost forever now, and I didn’t care. But I did care, and I was laughing and crying all in one, and there was nothing to do about it, but hold her and love her with all my decided and rioting body and mind.”

—   Ray Bradbury, “One Timeless Spring” (via lifeinpoetry)

Would you all stop being my friend if I bought one of those wide-brimmed felt hats and actually wore it?

I’m ashamed that I want one.

We were hungry. We went into a bakery on Grand Avenue and bought bread. Filled the backseat. The whole car smelled of bread. Big sourdough loaves shaped like a fat ass. Fat-ass bread, I said in Spanish, Nalgona bread. Fat – ass bread, he said in Italian, but I forget how he said it.

We ripped big chunks with our hands and ate. The car a pearl blue like my heart that afternoon. Smell of warm bread, bread in both fists, a tango on the tape player loud, loud, loud, because me and him, we’re the only ones who could stand it like that, like if the bandoneón, violin, piano and, guitar, bass, were inside us, like when he wasn’t married, like before his kids, like if all the pain hadn’t passed between us.

Driving down streets with buildings that remind him, he says, how charming the city is. And me remembering when I was little, a cousin’s baby who died from swallowing rat poison in a building like these.

That’s just how it is. And that’s how we drove. With all his new city memories and all my old. Him kissing me between big bites of bread.

—   Sandra Cisneros, Bread (via ohhhkat)

(via notnai)


(via INTERIOR JUNKIE » Sneak peek nieuwste binnenkijker)

“I want to live so densely, lush and slow in the next few years, that a year becomes ten years, and my past becomes only a page in the book of my life.”

—   Nayyirah Waheed  (via thatkindofwoman)

(Source: thesoutherly, via macedonianmess)

“You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. “Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Writers are like that: remembering where we were, what valley we ran through, what the banks were like, the light that was there and the route back to our original place. It is emotional memory — what the nerves and the skin remember as well as how it appeared. And a rush of imagination if is our “flooding.””

—   Toni Morrison, excerpt from “The Site of Memory,” What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction  (via commovente)

(via lifeinpoetry)

Someday Somebody’s Gonna Make You Wanna Turn Around and Say Goodbye

On the subway ride to work yesterday I was sharing a pole with a tall man. We weren’t especially close, especially not for 8:30 AM on the D train, but he seemed annoyed that I was sharing the space he had decided was his.  I peered over the pages of my book at the tattoo on his wrist, waiting for his sleeve to shift so I could read what was written in swirly script there. It said:

Get out of my way.

No joke! Unbelievable. More people piled on at Grand Street, and I shifted to let them pass, and I suppose that was the last straw for him. Perhaps I wrapped my hand around the particular part of pole he had wanted because he sighed loudly and finally moved further back to a pole he could have all to himself. And I smiled delightedly into my book that he had been forced to get out of my way because I’ll be damned if I’m making room for any men who think they’re entitled to more space than I am.


It’s mid-October, but warm enough to walk to work in just a cardigan. I don’t even freeze with mostly wet hair, my eyeliner hastily applied, as I try to make it past Brownstone Bagel and its heavy cloud of warm oniony bread without stopping.

I’m working on this theory that the more you tell people about your life, the more likely they are to be kind to you, because they begin to see you as a whole person. To test it, I’ve been slipping facts about myself into conversation and watching the way other people’s eyes change. I think I surprise them.

I suppose I’m looking for ways to make the world react a bit more gently to me because I still haven’t grown the thick skin of a business woman. I work diligently to cultivate a sense of apathy, but it doesn’t come. I am still so easily stung, so desperate to do well and to be liked, so quick to scold myself for any misstep.


On the way home, at Jay St.-Metrotech, I notice the “p” has been partially scraped away from a “Help Point,” so that it reads “Hell Point,” the second “l” drooping slightly. I enjoy the unoriginal, defeatist graffiti, especially at this station where the platform is so narrow that every approaching train feels like it might barrel right off the tracks. The evening commuters are tired, my blouse has come untucked, rats scurry in the garbage along the track. Hell point, indeed, but it’s only 3 stops from home, and even when it feels like I won’t make it, I still do.