Eris

It was never true that there was only one Eris. There have always been two on earth. There is one you could like when you understand her. The other is hateful. The two have separate natures.

-Hesiod

Advertisements

After

“She always talks about after. Always comments
on the low light in the bedroom, how she can
count each ring of rib and pick out the blue pulse
at the hollow of your throat. I try to imagine what
isn’t mine: the softness of you in a bedroom that
smells like skin and her beneath you, nails in your
back like a crucifixion. I try to imagine the cocoon
of you, the possessiveness of your embrace, how

your fingers curl around her wrists like manacles.
She is slave to your passion and you are too—slave
to that untamed thing within you that croons with
wild abandon and hangs its head when you are
spent. I wonder how she can manage to keep herself

together and talk about it so normally, as if you do
not crawl into bed night after night together, feet
bound at the bases of each other’s spines like hands
praying. She doesn’t say the most obvious: that you
are beautiful, that the sight of you above her—or
below her—moving, eyes open wide and mouth

gaping is enough to shatter her. That the tilt of your
neck against the pillow and how pliable you become
beneath her hands and the little ‘o’ she leaves behind
on your shoulder with her teeth like a branding as
she comes makes her love you—impossibly, achingly—
more. It is

a love that leaves you both scraped out and hollow,
as if it has burned you clean through.”

— Kristina Haynes, “After”

Being a Woman

“When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty. The world teaches you that the way you exist in it is disgusting—you watch boys cringe backward in your dorm room when you talk about your period, blue water pretending to be blood in a maxi pad commercial. It is little things, and it is constant. In a food court at the mall, after you go to the gynecologist for the first time, you and your friend talk about how much it hurts, and over her shoulder you watch two boys your age turn to look at you and wrinkle their noses: the reality of your life is impolite to talk about. The world says that you don’t have a right to the space you occupy, any place with men in it is not yours, you and your body exist only as far as what men want to do with it.”

— Stevie Nicks

What an astonishing thing a book is.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

-Carl Sagan

And they talk back

“Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.”
– Lev Grossman

You are here to risk your heart

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich

Night

“People are so vulnerable at night. They’re willing to spill out their souls to anyone willing to listen. They have desires to do things that never cross their mind when the sun is in the sky.”

The world does not owe you, you owe the world

Northland College principal John Tapene has offered the following words from a judge who regularly deals with youth. “Always we hear the cry from teenagers, ‘what can we do, where can we go?’

“My answer is this: Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons and after you’ve finished, read a book. Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun.

“The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in sickness and lonely again. In other words grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone not a wishbone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now and that somebody is you!”

Jagged pieces

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

-Mitch Albom