C O N C E P T I O N

“We lift ourselves by our thought. We climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always everywhere.” – Orison Swett Marden

Jasmine

“True love is night jasmine, a diamond in darkness, the heartbeat no cardiologist has ever heard. It is the most common of miracles, fashioned of fleecy clouds – a handful of stars tossed into the night sky.”
~ Jim Bishop

The Hound

“Stop looking at my mouth.”
His eyes darkened, as she saw his pupils dilate. He mouthed back, just as silently. “What if I don’t want to stop looking at your mouth?”
― Thea Harrison

Bellflower

Amor, ch’al cor gentile ratto s’apprende
prese costui de la bella persona
che mi fu tolta; e ‘l modo ancor m’offende.

Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona,
Mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
Che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona…”

“Love, which quickly arrests the gentle heart,
Seized him with my beautiful form
That was taken from me, in a manner which still grieves me.

Love, which pardons no beloved from loving,
took me so strongly with delight in him
That, as you see, it still abandons me not…”
― Dante Alighieri

R A D I A N C E

“Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.”
― John Donne

Wildflower

“I dream of a quiet man who explains nothing and defends nothing, but only knows where the rarest wildflowers are blooming, and who goes, and finds that he is smiling not by his own will.
Sabbaths 1999 II”

― Wendell Berry

C L O S E R

“Ivan tells Anna: “I used to imagine that being embraced by a woman . . . as something so wonderful that it would make me forget everything . . . [But] happiness, it turns out, will be to share with you the burden I can’t share with anyone else.”
― Vasily Grossman

Familial Tools of Friendship: Part III – Anxiety

“When the mushrooms took hold she sensed some of the gods calling to her from inside her own chest and followed their urging outside into the yard and up the sunny slope into the trees. She felt all gooey, gooey with the slobbered love of various gods gathered within, and smiling full-time went about the woods looking to collect butterflies and pet them until they gave milk, or maybe roll in the dirt until she felt China through her skin.”
― Daniel Woodrell

Uprooting 𝙟𝙪𝙙𝙜𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩

“The ideal state of a frozen dessert yields to melting beneath the sun’s rays, so we tend to rush the enjoyment of ice cream before it changes into something sticky and less pleasurable. Man, too, goes through states of freezing and melting, but if we standby only in his ideal state, we miss the far reach of stickiness through each phase, which, if observed with patience and allowed to cover our hearts, can become a great sweetness to our souls.”

~ Jen e. Limon

卄卂尺ᐯ乇丂ㄒ饗宴 千乇卂丂ㄒ

“It must be something voluntary, something self induced – like getting drunk, or talking yourself into believing some piece of foolishness because it happens to be in the Scriptures. And then look at their idea of what’s normal. Believe it or not, a normal human being is one who can have an orgasm and is adjusted to society. It’s unimaginable! No question about what you do with your orgasms. No question about the quality of your feelings and thoughts and perceptions. And then what about the society you’re supposed to be adjusted to? Is it a mad society or a sane one? And even if it’s pretty sane, is it right that anybody should be completely adjusted to it?”
― Aldous Huxley

Entering By Tiptoe

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
― Marvin J. Ashton

K I N T S U G I

“Did you know that pottery can be repaired with gold?” Kami asked. “Then it’s meant to be stronger than before, and more beautiful. Which is awesome, though it seems expensive.”

Her grandmother had nodded. “Makes sense to me,” she said. “Why be broken when you can be gold?”
― Sarah Rees Brennan

C Y C L O P E A N

“Most people feared the darkness. Some people feared, more wisely, the things within the darkness.

Gabriel feared both, and with good reason. He walked anyway. That had always been his way. He had a complicated history with the woodlands of the world. He’d met his share of the Cyclops and the Circes that lurked within.

And the world never seemed to run out of monsters.”
― Angela Panayotopulos

Carmine

“March 1898

What a strange dream I had last night! I wandered in the warm streets of a port, in the low quarter of some Barcelona or Marseille. The streets were noisome, with their freshly-heaped piles of ordure outside the doors, in the blue shadows of their high roofs. They all led down towards the sea. The gold-spangled sea, seeming as if it had been polished by the sun, could be seen at the end of each thoroughfare, bristling with yard-arms and luminous masts. The implacable blue of the sky shone brilliantly overhead as I wandered through the long, cool and sombre corridors in the emptiness of a deserted district: a quarter which might almost have been dead, abruptly abandoned by seamen and foreigners. I was alone, subjected to the stares of prostitutes seated at their windows or in the doorways, whose eyes seemed to ransack my very soul.

They did not speak to me. Leaning on the sides of tall bay-windows or huddled in doorways, they were silent. Their breasts and arms were bare, bizarrely made up in pink, their eyebrows were darkened, they wore their hair in corkscrew-curls, decorated with paper flowers and metal birds. And they were all exactly alike!

They might have been huge marionettes, or tall mannequin dolls left behind in panic – for I divined that some plague, some frightful epidemic brought from the Orient by sailors, had swept through the town and emptied it of its inhabitants. I was alone with these simulacra of love, abandoned by the men on the doorsteps of the brothels.

I had already been wandering for hours without being able to find a way out of that miserable quarter, obsessed by the fixed and varnished eyes of all those automata, when I was seized by the sudden thought that all these girls were dead, plague-stricken and putrefied by cholera where they stood, in the solitude, beneath their carmine plaster masks… and my entrails were liquefied by cold. In spite of that harrowing chill, I was drawn closer to a motionless girl. I saw that she was indeed wearing a mask… and the girl in the next doorway was also masked… and all of them were horribly alike under their identical crude colouring…

I was alone with the masks, with the masked corpses, worse than the masks… when, all of a sudden, I perceived that beneath the false faces of plaster and cardboard, the eyes of these dead women were alive.

Their vitreous eyes were looking at me…

I woke up with a cry, for in that moment I had recognised all the women. They all had the eyes of Kranile and Willie, of Willie the mime and Kranile the dancer. Every one of the dead women had Kranile’s left eye and Willie’s right eye… so that every one of them appeared to be squinting.

Am I to be haunted by masks now?”

― Jean Lorrain