*thoughts that linger*

“That is why the better part of our memory exists outside ourselves, in a blatter of rain, in the smell of an unaired room or of the first crackling brushwood fire in a cold grate: wherever, in short, we happen upon what our mind, having no use for it, had rejected, the last treasure that the past has in store, the richest, that which when all our flow of tears seems to have dried at the source can make us weep again. Outside ourselves, did I say; rather within ourselves, but hidden from our eyes in an oblivion more or less prolonged.”
-Marcel Proust, À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin

“So few things we need to know.
And the old wisdoms shudder in us and grow slack.
Like renunciation. Like the melancholy beauty
of giving it all up. Like walking steadfast
in the rhythms, winter light and summer dark.
And the time for cutting furrows and the dance.”
—  Robert Hass, from “Against Botticelli”

“I wish that I had spoken only of it all.”
—  Gertrude Stein, from “Stanzas in Meditation”

“You sent for me to talk to you of art; and I have obeyed you in coming. But the main thing I have to tell you is,—that art must not be talked about.”
-John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies

“I’ve let the frost go too far away.”
—  Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 5 January 1939

“awkwardly we bump into stars
we see nothing we hear nothing
we beat with our fists on the dark ether”
—  Zbigniew Herbert, from “First the Dog,” trans. Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott

“Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.”
—  Pablo Neruda, from “Keeping Quiet,”

“So, I say, what of the night, the terrible night?”
—  Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

“It is thanks to my evening reading alone that I am still more or less sane.”
—  W. G. Sebald, Vertigo, trans. Michael Hulse

“It is all very well our loving people, the pain of losing them, when in our isolation we are confronted with it alone, to which our mind gives, to a certain extent, whatever form it chooses, this pain is endurable and unusual as an accident in the moral world and in the region of our heart, which is caused not so much by the people themselves as by the manner in which we have learned that we are not to see them again.”
—  Marcel Proust, Albertine disparue, trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin

“I forgive your hand, right now rising, falling, and leaving trace
unlike what it praises; I forgive your shadow for never becoming
a stain to mark this road, this bed, but mostly this sea.”
—  Valzhyna Mort, from “Island”

“I miss your wingspan miss your hollow bones.”
—  Dora Malech, from “Flight, Fight Or”

“‘There is a charming quality, is there not,’ he said to me, ‘in this silence; for hearts that are wounded, as mine is…’”
—  Marcel Proust, Le Côté de Guermantes, trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin

“In which way are stars brighter than they are. When we have come to this decision. We mention many thousands of buds. And when I close my eyes I see them.”
—  Gertrude Stein, from “Idem the Same, A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson”

“I have had—to be frank—a bad and worried and depressed and inconvenient winter…”
—  Henry James, from a letter to Edith Wharton, 19 April 1909

“For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.”
—  T. S. Eliot, from “The Dry Salvages” in The Four Quartets

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”
—  Mark Twain, Autobiography (via risky wiver)

“The immense space suddenly becomes vacant: then illuminated.”
—  Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 2 February 1940

“Reading is a dialog with oneself; it is self-reflection, which cultivates profound humanity. Reading is therefore essential to our development. It expands and enriches the personality like a seed that germinates after a long time and sends forth many blossom-laden branches.”
—  Daisaku Ikeda (via whiskey river)

“The world is simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
—  Henry Miller (via risky wiver)

“I will meet you on the nape of your neck one day,
on the surface of intention, word becoming act.
We will breathe into each other the high mountain tales,
where the snows come from, where the waters begin.”
—  Luke Davies, from “[In the yellow time of pollen]”

“I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.”
—  Czeslaw Milosz, from “Dedication” (thanks to growing-orbits)

“Thicker than rain-drops on November thorn.”
—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Fragment 8”

“… perhaps it was also because of the extraordinary tricks dreams play with time that they fascinated me so much. Had I not in a single night, in one minute of a night, seen days of long ago which had been relegated to those great distances where we can distinguish hardly any of the sentiments we then felt, melt suddenly upon me, blinding me with their brightness as though they were giant aeroplanes instead of the pale stars we believed, making me see again all they had once held for me, giving me back the emotion, the shock, the vividness of their immediate nearness, then recede, when I woke, to the distance they had miraculously traversed, so that one believes, mistakenly however, that they are one of the means of recovering lost time.”
—  Marcel Proust, Le temps retrouvé, trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin

“I tell you: one must still have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star.”
—  Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Thomas Common

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
—  Maya Angelou

I love words


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