Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.
To love another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection , it is a magnificent task...tremendous and foolish and human.
For much of my life I was not acquainted with what may seem the obscure derivation of the adjective 'sincere.' It is from two Latin words, sine, without, and cera, wax. What a rare thing it is to be treated without wax. My desire is always to conduct relationships based upon honest regard. As I sipped the last drops of beef tea I tried to enumerate moments stripped of pretense and all I could come up with was those efforts of mine, with brother-in-law, when he grasped my hand in desperate gratitude, unknowing, and allowed me to really see him. As I relived those moments of extremity, a strange thought met me unawares. Were I not to know him, or someone, some person, at this radical depth, I fear my time on earth would be hideous. I was surprised to think this. But it crossed my mind that to know others on a superficial level only is a desperate hell and life is worth living only if the veneer is stripped away, the polish, the wax, and we see the true grain of the other no matter how far less than perfect, even ugly, even savage at the heart.
Snow stepped forward and slapped Josette, who slapped her back. Emmaline dropped the spoon and slapped them both - she had never slapped her child, or any child, before that moment. It happened so quickly - like a scene choreographed by the Three Stooges, which was what saved it. Emmaline started crying, then Snow. The three of them clung together.I want to cut off my hand, wept Emmaline. I never slapped you girls before.We should each cut our hands off, wailed Snow.Then making frybread two of us will have to stand together, you know, like each use our remaining hand, pat, pat. Josette and Snow demonstrated.Pat, pat, how pitiful, cry-laughed Emmaline.
To join the company of women, to be adults, we go through a period of proudly boasting of having survived our own mother's indifference, anger, overpowering love, the burden of her pain, her tendency to drink or teetotal, her warmth or coldness, praise or criticism, sexual confusions or embarrassing clarity. It isn't enough that she sweat, labored, bore her daughters howling or under total anesthesia or both. No. She must be responsible for our psychic weaknesses the rest of her life. It is alright to feel kinship with your father, to forgive. We all know that. But your mother is held to a standard so exacting that it has no principles. She simply must be to blame.
I shared with Fleur the mysterious self-contempt of the survivor. There were times we hated who we were, and who we had to become, in order not to follow those we loved into the next world. We grew hard. We became impenetrable, sparing of our pity. Sorrows that leveled other people were small to us. We made no move to avoid pain. Sometimes we even welcomed it--we were clumsy with knives, fire, boiling water, steel traps. Pain took our minds off the greater pain that was the mistake that we still existed.
The music was more than music- at least what we are used to hearing. The music was feeling itself. The sound connected instantly with something deep and joyous. Those powerful moments of true knowledge that we have to paper over with daily life. The music tapped the back of our terrors, too. Things we'd lived through and didn't want to ever repeat. Shredded imaginings, unadmitted longings, fear and also surprisingly pleasures. No, we can't live at that pitch. But every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence. We are aware. And this realization was in the music, somehow, or in the way Shamengwa played it.
Women without children are also the best of mothers,often, with the patience,interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortuante who feels witnessed as a peron,outside relationships with parents by another adult.
Wherever the family was, these two dogs, both six-year-old shepherd mixes, took up their posts at the central coming-and-going point. Gil called them concierge dogs. And it's true, they were inquisitive and accommodating. But they were not fawning or overly playful. They were watchful and thoughtful. Irene thought they had gravitas. Weighty demeanors. She thought of them as diplomats. She had noticed that when Gil was about to lose his temper one of the dogs always appeared and did something to divert his attention. Sometimes they acted like fools, but it was brilliant acting. Once, when he was furious about a bill for the late fees for a lost video, one of the dogs had walked right up to Gil and lifted his leg over his shoe. Gil was shouting at Florian when the piss splattered down, and she'd felt a sudden jolt of pride in the dog.
Information, long of reach, devastating, and as a side benefit, a substance with no serious legal repercussions, was superior to any other form of power.
Our baby gives herself to me completely. There is no hesitation, no reservation, no holding back, no coldness, no craft, no tremor or fear in her love. Although our relationship may encompass tears, frustration, even fury, it is an utterly reliable bond. As it grows, her love is literally unadulterated. Her love is wholly of the child, pure in its essence as children are in their direct passions. Children do not love wisely, but perhaps they love the best of all.
Only when you are secure enough not to fear immediate survival can you display creative intelligence in anything you do.
They're all the same-- the cop, the criminal, the defense, the prosecutor-- they all share a fundamental belief in the malleability of truth
For me, this is old. I probably know what is happening better than he does because I've tried over and over to wreck myself on another human, and always failed. I fail now. For it seems that my sorrow is deep in my bones and I'd have to break every single one to let it out.
She compares the deepest wells of depression to gestation, to a time enclosed, a secluded lightlessness in which, unknown and unforced, we grow.
I am part of what she thinks is her illness, a symptom of which she thinks she has been cured. She, on the other hand, is what I was looking for.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.
Delphine began to read with a mad attention when she wanted to talk to Clarisse. She saw that in her life there was a woman-shaped hole, a cutout that led to a mysterious place. Through it, her mother, then Eva, and now Clarisse had walked. If only she could plunge her arms through and drag them back.
Women don't realize how much store men set on the regularity of their habits. We absorb their comings and goings into our bodies, their rhythms into our bones.
I think she is confused by the way I want her, which is like nobody else. I know this deep down. I want her in a new way, a way she's never been told about.
The pattern glitters with cruelty. The blue beads are colored with fish blood, the reds with powdered heart. The beads collect in borders of mercy. The yellows are dyed with the ocher of silence. There is no telling which twin will fall asleep first, allowing the other's colors to dominate, for how long. The design grows, the overlay deepens. The beaders have no other order at the heart of their being. Do you know that the beads are sewn onto the fabric of the earth with endless strands of human muscle, human sinew, human hair? We are as crucial to this making as other animals. No more and no less important than the deer.
Delphine witnessed awful things occurring to other humans. Worse than that, she was powerless to alter their fate. It would be that way all her life--disasters, falling like chairs all around her, falling so close they disarranged her hair, but not touching her.
Old love, middle love, the kind of love that knows itself and knows that nothing lasts, is a desperate shared wildness.
If, as I suspect, my body survives by uttering itself over and over again, then I have some questions. If [I] am one word, so are my daughters, so are all of us in strings and loops. Each life is one short word slowly uttered.
Of course, English is a very powerful language, a colonizer's language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures - its cruelty is its vitality.
For it was through books that she felt her life to be unjudged Look at all of the great mix-ups, messes, confinement, and double-dealings in Shakespeare, she thought.Identities disguised continually, in a combative dance of illusion and discovery.
She gave her husband such a night of sexual pleasure that his eyes followed her constantly after that, narrow and hot. He grew molten when she passed near other men, and at night they made their own shaking tent. They got teased too much and moved farther off, into the brush, into the nesting ground of shy and holy loons. There, no one could hear them. In solitude they made love until they became gaunt and hungry, pale windigos with aching eyes, tongues of flame.
Upon walking into Eva's kitchen, something profound happened to Delphine. She experienced a fabulous expansion of being. Light-headed, she felt a swooping sensation and then a quiet, as though she'd settled like a bird.
And it occurred to me how even pulling trees that day, just months ago, I was in heaven. Unaware. I had known nothing even as the evil was occurring, I hadn't been touched yet.
When small towns find they cannot harm the strangest of their members, when eccentrics show resilience, they are eventually embraced and even cherished.
Then his head tipped down on his chest and he fell into the instant sleep of the ancient and the very young.