“Here is my gift, not roses on your grave, not sticks of burning incense. You lived aloof, maintaining to the end your magnificent disdain. You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes, and suffocated inside stifling walls. Alone you let the terrible stranger in, and stayed with her alone. Now you’re gone, and nobody says a word about your troubled and exalted life. Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn at your dumb funeral feast. Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I, I, sick with grief for the buried past, I, smoldering on a slow fire, having lost everything and forgotten all, would be fated to commemorate a man so full of strength and will and bright inventions, who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me, hiding the tremor of his mortal pain.”—Anna Akhmatova, “In Memory of M. B.,” translated by Max Hayward and Stanley Kunitz (via proustitute)
I aspire to write like you. Hell, even create one of your sentences in my head would be heavenly. To make people see, smell and breathe your experiences is a true gift.
You are so kind! Thank you! I don’t mean this to sound like knee-jerk false modesty after a compliment, but I am constantly convinced that I don’t have what it takes to pursue a career in writing. I keep dreaming of it, though. It’s what I picture myself doing when I imagine myself happy and content.
Yesterday my father came to visit. He brought me three things - a mix CD, a book about cult movies, and a map. He’s always giving me maps, as if he imagines me wandering lost through the city all the time. My bookshelves are cluttered with guidebooks. I love him for it.
We drove around sunny Brooklyn, pointing out restaurants that might be good for lunch. We settled on a burger joint and ordered milkshakes - mine strawberry, his vanilla. We sat outside at a tiny table and watched the people go by, dog-walkers and nannies, bicyclists in full spandex gear. I pointed out all the pink-blossoming trees.
We talked about my sister’s upcoming wedding. I still can’t get over the ridiculousness of it. I can’t believe we’re not still seven and nine, playing dress up in the spidery basement of my old house. We played “school” in the guest room. She was bossy and I was less than eager to learn. Now she teaches first grade. How could she possibly get married? It’s absurd, the very idea.
We talked about my grandfather and great uncle, how they used to be athletes, and now barely rise from their leather reclining chairs. A friend of my father’s died. He was sixty. My father’s face was tired.
I invited him up to my apartment, but there weren’t any parking spaces, so we hugged goodbye while the car behind us honked. I was relieved because I didn’t want him to see what a mess the place was. “When will I see you again?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I said, and felt old. Old enough to sit for a very long time.
I want to know what's it is like to kiss a girl and, on a completely different note, I'm afraid I won't like where my job takes me.
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, not exploring those curiosities did. Do everything you want to do, one thing at a time. Don’t wait.
Re: the job - I’m very afraid of this. My best advice is to stay where you are, but don’t stop actively looking for other opportunities that might suit you better. Don’t be afraid to look outside your field, go on interviews, and apply for jobs you don’t think you’ll get. That can be the scariest of all.
If you do not mind, can you share the links to some of your favorite blogs and the titles of your favorite books? I love all of the quotes your post and all the classy fashion. Your blog is one of my favorites. If I had a more personal blog, or a blog as wonderful as yours, I wouldn't be anonymous right now.
I periodically share the links to tumblrs I’m really enjoying. I love giving and getting blog recommendations on here. I’m overdue to post another one, but until I do, here are the links to my past picks:
As for book titles, I’d recommend The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey, The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer, Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Inamorata by Joseph Gangemi, Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, and Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.
“There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.”—Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain.
“I kind of have an issue with all the 90s fashion that’s coming back into style because I feel like that’s too recent of a decade to get nostalgic for and because if you’re like me and thought devoting your time to rewatching the entire 90210 series was a good idea, you realize that those clothes were horribly unflattering and generally ugly. I think we can agree that no one would have worn paisley-print vests if that wasn’t all that was available to them.
But then I saw Wildfox’s new Sweet Valley High-inspired lookbook and now all I want is pizza and slumber parties and if I have to wear oversized socks and severely cut bikini bottoms to have that then SO BE IT.”—take a face break.
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.”—Dead Poets Society (via bserene)
Hey, I'm doing my post-Easter read-back. Not sure if you're still soliciting secrets, but mine is that I always tell people I'm busy so that I can stay in and finish a book. I know, I know, it's both cliched (for a librarian) and terrible.
Not terrible! I do this, too!
The best books encourage our anti-social tendencies, I think.
My secret? I love toying with boy's minds. I know it's awful, but I find it entertaining :s
"For manipulations to be most effective, evidence of its presence should be nonexistent… It is essential, therefore, that people who are manipulated believe in the neutrality of their key social institutions."
“You know, it is good to hide your brilliance under a bushel, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. It is good to be kind without a name. That does not make you famous, it does not cause your photograph to appear in the newspapers. Politicians do not come to your door. You are just a creative human being living anonymously, and in that there is richness and great beauty.”—J. Krishnamurti, by way of whiskey river & sharanam. (via crashinglybeautiful)
“I want to look intently at grasses and pink people, old venerable churches, to know what little cathedrals say, to run without stopping along curving meadowy slopes across vast plains, kiss the earth and smell soft warm marshland flowers. And then I shall shape things so beautifully: fields of colour…”—Egon Schiele (adapted from buried-denmark; sharpsharpteeth)
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”—Joan Didion (via drinkyourjuice)