"What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him — even concerning his own body — in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw away the key."
Sunday December 23rd
"Each of us is incomplete compared to someone else - an animal’s incomplete compared to a person… and a person compared to God, who is complete only to be imaginary."
Sunday December 23rd
"Should I seek out some tree? Should I desert these form rooms and libraries, and the broad yellow page in which I read Catullus, for woods and fields? Should I walk under beech trees, or saunter along the river bank, where the trees meet united like lovers in the water? But nature is too vegetable, too vapid. She has only sublimities and vastitudes and water and leaves. I begin to wish for firelight, privacy, and the limbs of one person."
Tuesday November 20th
"When you were awake, stretched out in your bed in the dark, shutters drawn, your thoughts would flow freely. They would grow obscure when you got up and opened the curtains. The violence of daylight would efface the nocturnal clarity. In the daytime, people were barriers, dividing you up, preventing you from hearing what you listened to at night: the voice of your brain."
Saturday November 10th
She would stand on the hot pavement and drink the Coke from the bottle and put the bottle back in the rack (she tried always to let the attendant notice her putting the bottle in the rack, a show of thoughtful responsibility, no sardine cans in her sink) and then she would walk to edge of the concrete and stand, letting the sun dry her damp back. To hear her own voice she would sometimes talk to the attendant, ask advice on oil filters, how much air the tires should carry, the most efficient route to Foothill Boulevard in West Covina. Then she would retie the ribbon in her hair and rinse her dark glasses in the drinking fountain and be ready to drive again. In the first hot month of the fall she left Carter, the summer Carter left her, the summer Carter stopped living in the house in Beverly Hills, a bad season in the city, Maria put seven thousand miles on the Corvette. Sometimes at night the dread would overtake her, bathe her in sweat, flood her mind with sharp flash images of Les Goodwin in New York and Carter out there on the desert with BZ and Helene and the irrevicability of what seemed already to have happened, but she never thought about that on the freeway.
Friday November 9th
"She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.
In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?"
Tuesday November 6th
"Imagine me; I shall not exist if you do not imagine me; try to discern the doe in me, trembling in the forest of my own iniquity; let’s even smile a little. After all, there is no harm in smiling."
— Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Friday November 2nd
"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see."
Wednesday September 12th
“When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you also invent electrocution … Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress””
— Paul Virilio, Politics of the Very Worst (via shutterstutter)
Tuesday August 28th
“There was a Greek philosopher who taught that, of all things, not to have been born is the sweetest state. But I believe sleep is the sweetest state. You’re dead, yet alive. There’s no sensation so exquisite.”
Sunday July 15th
"We may enjoy our room in the tower, with the painted walls and the commodious bookcases, but down in the garden there is a man digging who buried his father this morning, and it is he and his like who live the real life and speak the real language."
Saturday July 14th
"I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were."
— Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Joan Didion
Sunday July 1st
"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history."
Sunday July 1st
"but writing down the words
alters what I want to remember
that which had no words
was a living breathing image
so now I have two versions of the same
today I can superimpose them
but tomorrow when I’m gone
only the words are left
signs evoking something
that no eye sees any more"
Thursday May 10th