I guess the best secrets from yourself are the ones that even if someone else tells them to you, you still don’t know them.
Post with 5 notes
We were almost at the end of our years together, and without ever fighting or deviling each other as most other roommates did, we were farther from being friends than on our first day. We had made ourselves unknowable behind our airs and sardonic courtesies, and the one important truth I’d discovered about him we’d silently agreed never to acknowledge. Many such agreements had evolved between us. No acknowledgement of who we really were — of trouble, weakness, or doubt — of our worries about the life ahead and the sort of men we were becoming. Never; not a word. We’d kept everything witty and cool, until the air between us was so ironized that to say anything in earnest would have been a breach of manners, even of trust.
Tobias Wolff, Old School (2003)
Quote with 1 note
Often he felt when he spoke to her that for her the words came physically from his lips, that they were things she could examine after he’d ejected them, in order to assess their truth.
The rolling had begun in earnest and the ship was pitching up and down, not roughly, but in a prolonged surging rhythm. My bunk was at right angles to the length of the ship, so that I felt the stern to bow rocking laterally, across my body, like being swayed from side to side in a hammock. It was a kind of dance my body was doing to the music of the ship, which itself was dancing to the rhythm of the sea. A three-part syncopation: the sea, the ship and me, moving separately but in tune. With concentration, I could isolate the movement of each of those elements, feeling one of them as central, then another. When I focused particularly on the movement of my body and let sea and ship fade into the background, it felt like I was drifting gently, unaided, through the air, the way the sea birds do, catching billows of wind, rising on one and then falling on to the next, which lifts them up again.
Jenny Diski, Skating To Antarctica (1997)
Post with 9 notes
Whatever sentence I extract whole and entire from this cauldron is only a string of six little fish that let themselves be caught while a million others leap and sizzle, making the cauldron bubble like boiling silver, and slip through my fingers.
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931)
Post with 1 note
And once, long ago now, she had bought a notebook for a course. It lay empty and forgotten on the kitchen table until one afternoon, when she had gone out to the shops and he was worried that she would be killed by a bus or by lightning, he opened the notebook and he wrote lines about how he loved her, the way he loved her, about his fucking heart and crap like that, about his body brimful and his scrambled head. All that. She came back from the shops. He left the notebook where it was, and he didn’t mention it. And it wasn’t until about a week later that he noticed it again, and he flicked it open, and he saw his lines followed by lines from her. She’d written words that she had never said. He sat down. He read them over and over for a long time. Then he wrote a paragraph for her to find.
Keith Ridgway, Hawthorn & Child (2012)
Post with 2 notes
I’m reading China Miéville’s squid-cult apocalypse romp Kraken and just came across the phrase “centuries of dissident cephalopod gnosis” and it may be a long time before I read five consecutive words so splendid.
Post with 1 note
In Ireland a woman could raise hens and sell the eggs. Of course there were fights. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law disputing control of the hens, and some of those disputes were vicious; but still an egg is a pleasant thing to contemplate, warm in a straw nest, carrying all that power and history.
Angela Bourke, ‘Le Soleil et le Vent’, in By Salt Water
"There’s a name on every part of the hill. A name in Irish, that a man would know where he was, and if he saw a sheep lost there, or something else like that, he could tell the man that lost it, and him go straight to where it were, and take it with him."
Robert Bernen, ‘Brock’
Page 1 of 8