Sometimes I felt that there was something physical connecting us, a long rope that stretched between Boston and Portland: when she tugged on her end, I felt it on mine. Wherever she went, wherever I went, there it would be, that shining twined string that stretched and pulled but never broke, our every movement reminding us of what we would never have again.
to be alone thinking of you, how tiresome of a burden.
… the overwhelming majority disliked [“childless” and “childfree”], with one being seen as stigmatising and the other gleeful and nasty in its implication that parents somehow need “liberating”.
… that’s one reason why – when absolutely necessarily – “doesn’t have children” is the kindest, most neutral descriptor we can hope for. Though we can also hope to be moving away from one’s parenting status needing to be defined at all, especially for women, who still face this question far more frequently than men. Language matters, and as ever it often says more about us and our assumptions than we realise.
read more here.
what can i say about me in a five-year timespan?
everything and nothing.
it’s funny when you fill out fellowship applications they will ask you where do you think you will be in five years, what do you see? expecting you to be somewhere else, a different person, in a different place. they will dismiss at once the idea of being a static, a stagnant.
but here’s five years after living abroad.
1. no matter where you go, or where life takes you, you are still you. i came there to cleanse myself of myself, off of myself, and here I am still the same.
2. you will see more and more evil in this world, they came in different faces of kindness and sincerity. you will be fooled and you will not grow out of it. still, you keep wanting more and more. you always want more. arms wide open, bleeding just the same.
3. they will stab you in the back time and time again, and you will endure. you will cry, but you will endure. you will not get over it. shopping is a cure and you will go broke from the stabs. you continue to live, of all the whispers and screams, you’ll live.
4. everything that seems fancy, is not. go back to what you love, who you love, they’re there for you, and they will be there for you, again and again. put them in a frame, and carry them in your heart.
5. friends leave. let them go. it’s alright. you were born alone.
6. it will be exhausting and you will be exhausted. and death is not coming to get you. you will create an escape in the least things expected, in the most unthinkable ways. you will survive. you will not be smiling, but you will survive.
here’s to everything and nothing the same.
so that’s how we live our lives. no matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that’s stolen from us – that’s snatched right out of our hands – even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. we draw ever nearer to our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.
Last time you see someone and you don’t
know it will be the last time.
And all that
you know now, if only you’d known then.
But you didn’t know, and now it’s too late.
And you tell yourself, “How could I have
known, I could not have known.
You tell yourself…
Missing Mom, Joyce Carol Oates
There was the story of a central California widow who had fought to have her recently dead husband exhumed, pleading her case that before he had died he had swallowed her diamond ring in some sort of spite and that she wanted this jewel returned. But in the end she confessed that she had not slept for many many weeks and that she had been spending her nights lying on his grave, trying to speak to him, and that all she really wanted was just to be able to see his face one more time.
Life After God, Douglas Coupland
When I look into your eyes, I realise I came from a long journey across time, before yours nor mine. I knew this from recurring dreams. They’re so vivid that when I wake up, my arms my feet my body’s broken, sore and tired. These dreams are more than just a realm in my subconscious, they’re real.
In my dreams, I have your eyes, your smile, and everything’s new under the sun. In my dreams I am lost looking for something, anything feels like a mother. In my dreams, I too am abandoned, unwanted. In my dreams, I am you.
When I Look Into Your Eyes, When I My Own Daughter
The inward life tells us that we are multiple not single, and that our one existence is really countless existences holding hands like those cut-out paper dolls, but unlike the dolls never coming to an end. When we say, ‘I have been here before,’ perhaps we mean, ‘I am here now,’ but in another life, another time, doing something else. Our lives could be stacked together like plates on a waiter’s hand. Only the top one is showing, but the rest are there and by mistake we discover them.
Sexing the Cherry, Jeanette Winterson
All languages that derive from Latin form the word “compassion” by combining the prefix meaning “with” (com-) and the root meaning “suffering” (Late Latin, passio). In other languages, Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish, for instance – this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix combined with the word that means “feeling”.
In languages that derive from Latin, “compassion” means: we cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, “pity”, connotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. “To take pity on a woman” means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower ourselves.
That is why the word “compassion” generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered an inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love.
To have compassion (co-feeling) means not only to be able to live with other’s misfortune but also to feel with him any emotion -joy , anxiety, happiness, pain… there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera