A large hedge of thorns soon grew round the palace, and every year it became higher and thicker, till at last the whole palace was surrounded and hid, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen. But there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping Rose-Bud (for so was the king’s daughter called); so that from time to time several kings’ sons came, and tried to break through the thicket into the palace. This they could never do; for the thorns and bushes laid hold of them as it were with hands, and there they stuck fast and died miserably.
From ‘Rose-Bud’ in Grimms’ Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm (Penguin Popular Classics, 1996)
I remain a student of history, more of one than ever, now that our century has torn its way out of its chrysalis and become too beautiful to be examined, too alive to be debated and exploited by played-out intellectuals. The important thing is no longer to predict in what way its grand convulsions might next shake us. Now the important thing is to ride it into the sky.
Denis Johnson, The Name of the World (2000)
She had a funny way at the ends of her sentences. Rather than a pause, she created a plunge.
Quote with 5 notes
Police brutality is only one facet of the crystal of terror and oppression. Behind police brutality there is social brutality, economic brutality, and political brutality.
I understand that the ancient mysteries of death and rebirth, and also the rites of passage of the native cultures, enabled people to go through a kind of dying before dying. The 17th-century German Augustinian monk Abraham of Santa Clara put it very succinctly: The man who dies before he dies does not die when he dies. Once you have this experience, you do not see death as the end of who you are, but as a fantastic journey, as a transition to a different mode and level of existence. Whether this is a profound cosmic truth or a merciful delusion, as some of the materialistic critics of transpersonal psychology assert, it can certainly transform people’s lives.
Stanislav Grof, The Consciousness Revolution: A Transatlantic Dialogue (1999)
Books made out of books
Post with 1 note
One of the advantages of unrequited passions, I find, is that there is no need to worry about infidelity.
One can fall in love with a new person every day and hurt no one except oneself.
No recriminations, no sulking, no painful divorce.
I was an old hand.
Lucy Ellmann, Varying Degrees of Hopelessness (1991)
Post with 2 notes
What I could do
I could mend nets. Thatch a roof. Build stairs. Make a basket from reeds. Splint the leg of a cow. Cut turf. Build a wall. Go three rounds with Joe in the ring Da put up in the barn. I could dance sets. Read the sky. Make a barrel for mackerel. Mend roads. Make a boat. Stuff a saddle. Put a wheel on a cart. Strike a deal. Make a field. Work the swarth turner, the float and the thresher. I could read the sea. Shoot straight. Make a shoe. Shear sheep. Remember poems. Set potatoes. Plough and harrow. Read the wind. Tend bees. Bind wyndes. Make a coffin. Take a drink. I could frighten you with stories. I knew the song to sing to a cow when milking. I could play twenty-seven tunes on my accordion.
Timothy O’Grady, I Could Read the Sky (1997)
Post with 2 notes
By the time she was a few weeks old she had learned to distinguish the undulating cadences of the sound that would one day be language to her. The drone from a distance: a deep sound alternating with a series of lighter notes, the ebb and flow of conversation between Gerald and Ivy in the next room. An increase in volume and steep rise in pitch always preceded a face looming over her cot, its lips pursing and stretching to push the sing-song, melodic sound towards her. The faces chirruped and trilled at her, all of it meaningless but vital as milk.
Jenny Diski, Like Mother (1988)
Quote with 2 notes
The language of corporations is like a vampire without fangs; it has no venom or bite but you don’t want it hanging off your neck just the same.
Page 1 of 24