I’m afraid of a kiss
Like the kiss of a bee.
I suffer like this
And wake endlessly.
I’m afraid of a kiss!
And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Captain Arthur Rostron, reflecting on his safe passage among the icebergs to the lifeboats.
“She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some people are like that. Some loves are like that. Most loves are like that, from what I can see. Your heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self-respect and your independence. After a while you start throwing people out—your friends, everyone you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, and you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of people here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love.”
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. Turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last! For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left. Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years… six years…then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, “See! I knew you wouldn’t wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.”
Propertius Eligiae 2.16.13-14
“To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.”
― Criss Jami, Venus in Arms
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
― Kerry E. Wagner, Never Let Go of My Hand
It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.
― Honoré de Balzac
“Once you’ve ruled out the impossible then whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth. The problem lay in working out what was impossible, of course. That was the trick, all right. There was also the curious incident of the orangutan in the night-time.”
― Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
“A Ritual to Read to Each Other
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give—yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.”
― William Edgar Stafford
― Bonnie Eaker Weil, Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker
“An intimate relationship does not banish loneliness. Only when we are comfortable with who we are can we truly function independently in a healthy way, can we truly function within a relationship. Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship: it takes two wholes.”
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation. ”
― George Washington
“For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, our self, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.”
― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Marriage is like calculus. Complicated and inexplicably remote. People think it’s about loving one another and riding off into the sunset, but no one tells you the horse is lame or that it’s an eclipse, and there won’t be a sunset that day.”
― Kristin Billerbeck, The Trophy Wives Club
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“If you want to marry me, here’s what you’ll have to do:
You must learn how to make a perfect chicken-dumpling stew.
And you must sew my holey socks,
And soothe my troubled mind,
And develop the knack for scratching my back,
And keep my shoes spotlessly shined.
And while I rest you must rake up the leaves,
And when it is hailing and snowing
You must shovel the walk…and be still when I talk,
And-hey-where are you going?”
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
He waka eke noa
“Two people with mental issues in a relationship does not work. It’s like sitting in a boat and neither one has an oar to row the other to shore. You can meet your mirror image in life but that doesn’t mean you should marry him.”
― Shannon L. Alder
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance
I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.
Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
When I said I wanted to die in my sleep, I meant I wanted to be stepped on by an elephant while making love.”
Roger Zelazny, The Great Book of Ambe
― Nick Flynn, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
“Someday, we’ll run into each other again, I know it.
Maybe I’ll be older and smarter and just plain better. If that happens,
that’s when I’ll deserve you. But now, at this moment, you can’t hook
your boat to mine, because I’m liable to sink us both.”
Gabrielle Zevin, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
“Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.”
Lance Morrow, The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons
Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday
“Life is hard enough as it is without choosing someone difficult to share it with”
A Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations
FROM THE POOL
Birdland – A Poem
Guitar riff, as a thorn-winged plover screechingly
messerschmitts magpies and butcherbirds,
bluff-diving to protect his nesting mate
Busily disputing their noisy offspring.