“Not everyone is given access to this other world where the dead and the dying live. We are not all guests of the dead, this wisest of companies. If we can’t get there by dying, then let’s go there by dreaming.”—
“Fiction ought to announce the problems, dramatize the problems, display them. Yet offer no set answer. An answer would solve the mystery. Writing fiction, for me, is about putting on paper my obsessive interest in something mysterious. I may figure out the source of the mystery, the things that brought some action or image to my mind, but to make an equation of it would ruin the story.”—Antonya Nelson (via mttbll)
“wash your dress in running water. dry it on the southern side of a rock. let them have four guesses and make them all wrong. take a fistful of snow in the summer heat. cook haluski in hot sweet butter. drink cold milk to clean your insides. be careful when you wake: breathing lets them know how asleep you are. don’t hang your coat from a hook in the door. ignore curfew. remember weather by the voice of the wheel. do not become the fool they need you to become. change your name. lose your shoes. practice doubt. dress in oiled cloth around sickness. adore darkness. turn sideways in the wind. the changing of stories is a cheerful affair. give the impression of not having known.”—Colum McCann (via notebookings)
“In Art and Lies, I say something about how you can’t reconstruct the bunch of grapes from the bottle of wine. They are not the same in the last analysis nor would one want them to be. So I do try to keep these strict definitions… because I know that the whole push at the moment of saying that this is about a writer’s life is a way of minimizing the work and trying to make it controllable, handleable. It is to say, Well, this isn’t really art, whatever art is—not that they have any idea—but it is about experience. I get rather tired of that. What matters is what writers do with the experience, whatever the experience is. Now whether it took place in my imagination or in my psyche or whether it took place in my physical body, do we really have to split hairs like that?”—Jeannette Winterson (via mttbll)
“Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.”—Louis C.K. (via thatkindofwoman)
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”—e.e. cummings (via negromodelo)
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”—Neil Degrasse Tyson (via seabois)
“I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.”—
“In the wake of the modern decoupling of monstrosity from appearance, the monster can be anyone and anywhere, and we only know it when it springs upon us or emerges from within us.”—Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, “Invisible Monsters: Vision, Horror, and Contemporary Culture” (via outpastthemoat)
“Because no voice can hold out over the brutalities of life without breaking, he turned to quill and paper, for so he could arrange, in the necessary silence, the abundant inadequacies of life, as a laying-out of jewels—jewels with a will to decay.”—Djuna Barnes, writing about James Joyce (via mttbll)
Maybe if I knew enough, understood enough, I’d find a way to go back to the beginning, back to the place where everything went awry. Find the nutmeat of me, the part of me that mattered, start my life anew, and grow the correct way. Live the life I was meant to live.
In English class we studied “The Raven” by Poe, lingering over a word in the refrain, “nevermore.” Discussed the meaning of repetition.
“It puts pressure on you,” the teacher said. “Do you get it?” he asked, over and over.
It had something to do with loss and death and the weight of all you couldn’t see, might never overcome, or ever fully understand.
“Thoughts of the after-land, the Nightland of the Dead, the hereafter, a dreamy place of zero obligations, I had them. Too long rootless, too long without somewhere, anywhere to call my own, to house my increasing inwardness. Seriously gob- smacked by all the endings, all the beginnings, all the departures.”—RAMBLER a work in progress
“On such sunny, sad mornings I always feel in my bones that there is a chance yet of my not being excluded from Heaven, and that salvation may be granted to me despite the frozen mud and horror in my heart.”—Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire (via feu-pale)
“Stay impish. Stay curious. Stay crazy. Don’t follow directions. Don’t compromise. Don’t settle. Don’t take anything for granted. Push yourself. Take chances. Ask yourself how you can write the contemporary rather than rewrite the past. Try to fail in ways that interest you.”—
“What a story is, is devious. It pretends transparency, forthrightness. It engages with ordinary people, ordinary matters, recognizable stuff. But this is all a masquerade. What good stories deal with is the horror and incomprehensibility of time, the dark encroachment of old catastrophes…”—Joy Williams (via mttbll)