My mother’s sentences become shorter as her needs grow smaller. And then shorter still. Stone bridge with a diminishing
span. Become phrases. Become single words chosen from the rubble inside her mouth: Bird! Outside! Water. Please. Tired. Tired. She has grown tired
of language. On her night stand a tumbler of water on a plastic coaster and the last book she ever opened in which, for a year now, a green leather bookmark
has been holding its tongue; in which snowdrifts on the train lines from Istanbul have stranded Poirot just beyond Vinkovci with twelve suspects and clues appearing one by one—the handkerchief, the button, the crimson kimono.
To abandon language is to stop creating a place other than your own life in which to live. It is to enter the terrible certainty of the flesh. Even god is only possible through language but, still, I declare that it is possible to transform a body into a temple: look
how our own lungs, unfolded and smoothed and pressed out flat, are the size of a spinnaker, could have a sailboat flying before a strong wind; how they have
the dimensions of a good-sized room, a room in which my mother might sit, for a while, before the open window, and so enter the heft and stance of the outside world.
I have grown used to the seethe and abrasion of her breathing, truly. Truly. And this is how I want to leave her, then, my mother: in a room by an open window, turning
toward the steady compress of light on the surface of the bay, to a skylark’s rising
smear of music, and to the sleek, white pony in the wet, roped-off pasture next door navigating, head down, through the high
surge of wild iris to small islands of fresh grass; as a woman who spent the last months of her life with nothing but rain inside her.
“Sometimes when you mean hello I carry
you in my left ear for days. You go with me
to the grocery store for arguments
about the most beautiful head of broccoli
and salad. O, gorgeous bird, I dare us to go
on not caring. I have put down color all
over the map this week. Nobody has reached
me with their letters. I feel like two owls caught
with secret binoculars. Which is to say I
feel more than what I am. Which what
am I? Which does it hurt when two
people go on speaking? Call me and say
you are alive again.”—Wendy Xu & Nick Sturm, I Was Not Even Born When You Knew My Name (via grammatolatry)
“[Everyone was at war
With what it meant to be alive.] That’s why we refused to be banished,
And why when they set us on fire, there was light at our core.”—Terrance Hayes, from “All the Way Live” (via the-final-sentence)
“Perhaps the way to succeed is to think of life on Earth as a colossal joke, a creation of such immense stupidity that the only way to live is to laugh until you think your heart will break.”—There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff (via lostinthesounds)
“I want to fulfill myself in one of the rarest of destinies. I have only a dim notion of what it will be. I want it to have not a single graceful curve nor to be slightly bent toward evening but a hitherto unseen beauty. Lovely because of the danger which works away at it, overwhelms it, undermines it. Oh let me be only utter beauty. I shall go quickly or slowly and I shall dare what must be dared. I shall destroy appearances. The casings will burn away and one evening I shall appear there in the palm of your hand, quiet and pure like a glass statuette. You will see me and all about me there will be nothing left.”—Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal (via jobefish)
“Will a self. - Active, successful natures act, not according to the dictum ‘know thyself’, but as if there hovered before them the commandment: will a self and thou shalt become a self.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, from Assorted Opinions and Maxims. (via sanknow)
There is a solemnity in hands,
the way a palm will curve in
accordance to a contour of skin,
the way it will release a story.
This should be the pilgrimage.
The touching of a source.
This is what sanctifies.
This pleading. This mercy.
I want to be a pilgrim to everyone,
close to the inaccuracies, the astringent
dislikes, the wayward peace, the private
words. I want to be close to the telling.
I want to feel everyone whisper.
After the blossoming I hang.
The encyclical that has come
through the branches
instructs us to root, to become
the design encapsulated within.
Flesh helping stone turn tree.
I do not want to hold life
at my extremities, see it prepare
itself for my own perpetuation.
I want to touch and be touched
by things similar in this world.
I want to know a few secular days
of perfection. Late in this one great season
the diffused morning light
hides the horizon of sea. Everything
the color of slate, a soft tablet
to press a philosophy to.
”—“The Confession of an Apricot,” Carl Adamshick (via clavicola)
“My suggestion is that whenever you have to choose, always choose the unknown, because the known you have already lived. Never miss the unknown. Always choose the unknown and go headlong. Even if you suffer, it is worth it — it always pays.”—Osho (via fuckyeahexistentialism)
“Someone wants to celebrate their existence and you call it exhibitionism. It’s niggardly. If you don’t want anyone to know about your existence, you might as well kill yourself. You’re taking up space, air.”—Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (via tryhowandwhy)
“And when the idea
of people is over we will
walk right back in there
and make some jokes
toward commanding the waves
like we are long-dead kings
with a knack for rhetorical gesture
and that is how the ocean
will remember us I think”—Heather Christle, from “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (via the-final-sentence)
“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.”—Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
But really. At times it’s wonderful to wallow in your melancholy, but there comes a point where you have to stand back from yourself and think — what the good fuck am I doing. So get out of bed. Open a window. Smile at the neighbors getting their mail in their bathrobes. Put on your pretty lips and your favorite dress and go for a walk and pick a flower for yourself on the way home. Go skinny-dipping and love everyone, everyone, whole-heartedly, with every fiber of your being. The most beautiful thing is to realize you can be happy by pouring love out into the world and not asking for any back in return. Open up all your doors and put up no restrictions. Appreciate whatever you let in. Appreciate whoever lets you in. Give your demons a break and let yourself breathe. Everything’s going to be alright.