November 21, 2013

Page 154

I think now that being free is not about being powering or rich or well regarded or without obligations but being able to love. To love someone else enough to forget about yourself even for one moment is to be free. The mystics and the churchmen talk about throwing off this body and its desires, being no longer a slave to the flesh. They don't say that through the flesh we are set free. That our desire for another will lift us out of ourselves more cleanly than anything divine.

We are a lukewarm people and our longing for freedom is our longing for love. If we had the courage to love we would not so value these acts of war.
...
Love, they say, enslaves and passion is a demon and many have been lost for love. I know this is true, but I know too that without love we grope the tunnels of our lives and never see the sun. When I fell in love it was as though I looked into a mirror for the first itme and saw myself. I lifted my hand in wonderment and felt my cheeks, my neck. This was me. And when I had looked at myself and grown accustomed to who I was, I was not afraid to hate parts of me because I wanted to be worthy of the mirror bearer. 

- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

Page 122

There's no sense of loving someone you can only wake up to by chance.

...

I say I'm in love with her. What does that mean? 
It means I review my future and my past in the light of this feeling. It is as thought I wrote in a foreign language that I am suddenly able to read. Wordlessly, she explains me to myself. Like genius, she is ignorant of what she does. 

- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

Page 25

I was happy but happy is an adult word. You don't have to ask a child about happy, you see it. They are or they are not. Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. Talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind. Much easier to let it blow all over you.

- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

Page 19

It's hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment. 

- The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

September 15, 2013

Page 192

That's what you have, Harry: life. It's a strange gift and I don't know how we're supposed to use it but I know it's the only gift we get and it's a good one.

- Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Page 81

With women, you keep bumping against them, because they want different things; they're a different race. The good ones develop give. In all the green world nothing feels as good as a woman's good nature.

- Rabbit, Run by John Updike

August 26, 2013

Page 16

It is altogether curious, your first contact with poverty. You have thought so much about poverty - it is the thing you have feared all your life, the thing you knew would happen to you sooner or later; and it is all so utterly and prosaically different. You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping. 

- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

August 17, 2013

Page 57


At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others – poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner – young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.

Again at eight o’clock, when the dark lanes of the Forties were fie deep with throbbing taxi cabs, bound for the theater district, I felt a sinking in my heart. Forms leaned together in the taxis as they waited, and voices sang, and there was laughter from unheard jokes, and lighted cigarettes outlined unintelligible gestures inside. Imagining that I, too, was hurrying toward gayety and sharing their intimate excitement, I wished them well. 

- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Page 56


I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove.

- The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

August 3, 2013

August 2, 2013

June 12, 2013

Page 134

To have come on all this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treature given to you. You could take your treasure with you when you traveled too, and in the mountains where we lived in Switzerland and Italy, until we found Schruns in the high valley in the Vorarlberg in Austria, there were always the books, so that you lived in the new world you had found, the snow and the forests and the glaciers and their winter problems and your high shelter in the Hotel Taube in the village in the day time, and at night you could live in the other wonderful world the Russian writers were giving you. 

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Page 49

When spring came, even false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Page 6

I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

April 24, 2013

April 2, 2013

Page 311

For however inhospitable the wind, from this vantage point Manhattan was simply so improbable, so wonderful, so obviously full of promise - that you wanted to approach it for the rest of your life without ever quite arriving.

- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

February 28, 2013

February 25, 2013

Quote

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

— Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

November 26, 2012

Page 38

I thought once he got to know my quality I'd mean more to him. He'd finally see it. I don't say that I'm better than other women. I'm not superior. I'm nutty, also. But I am in touch with the me in myself. There's so much I could do for a man that I love. 

- A Theft by Saul Bellow

November 19, 2012

Page 340


For me love is like this: you’re in one room or apartment which you think is fine, then you walk through a door and close it behind you and find yourself in the next apartment, which is even better, larger, more floor space, a better view. You’re happy there and then you go into the next apartment and close the door and this one is even better. And the sequence continues, but with the odd feature that although this has happened to you a number of times, you forget: each time your new quarters are manifestly better and each time it’s breathtaking, a surprise, something you’ve done nothing to deserve or make happen. You never intend to go from one room onward to the next – it just happens. You notice a door, you go through, and you’re delighted again. 

- Mating by Norman Rush

Page 95


If I overdwell on this it can’t be helped: love is important and the reasons you get it or fail to are important. The number of women in my generation who in retrospect anyone will apply the term “great love” to, in any connection, is going to be minute. I needed to know I had a chance here. Love is strenuous. Pursuing someone is strenuous. What I say is if you find yourself condemned to wanting love, you have to play while you can play … What was moving me was the feeling of being worth someone’s absolute love, great love, even. And to me this means male love whether I like it or not. C’est ca. Here I am, there I was. I don’t know if getting love out of a man is more of a feat of strength now than it used to be or not, expect that I do: it is. It’s hideous. It’s an ordeal beyond speech. When I’m depressed I feel like what was meant by one of his favorite quotations: A bitter feast was steaming hot and a mouth must be found to eat it. Men are like armored things, mountainous assemblages of armor and leather, masonry even, which you are told will self-dismantle if you touch the right spot, and out will flow passionate attention. 

- Mating by Norman Rush

Page 93


Why can’t every mating in the world be on the basis of souls instead of inevitably and fundamentally on the match between physical envelopes? Of course we all know the answer, which is that otherwise we would be throwing evolution into disarray. Still it distresses me. We know what we are.

- Mating, by Norman Rush

November 1, 2012

Wishlist

{Bella Foster still life and Bethesda Fountain, both via Wayne Pate}

October 2, 2012

September 28, 2012