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the journey of words

Just for old time’s sake I decided to pay my study a visit. A little sentimental journey into the land of yesterday. I closed the door and stood in the darkness and thought of the many times when this little room was my very own, with no part of my sister disturbing it. But it could never be the same again. […] A bitterness went through me, and it was painful even to remember the other times.

John Fante, from  The Road to Los Angeles (Harper Perennial, 2002) 

I am envious of my fingers
catching the dialogue of darkness and light as it overflows from your
hands, the movement of a spoon in your teacup, the salts stirred up in a
body that yearns for a storm to spark the fire of song: gather me up, all of
you, and hold me close so I can envy my memories of you in the future.

— Mahmoud Darwish, from “I am jealous of everything around you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)

fables-of-the-reconstruction

I dreamt that she sat by my head, tenderly ruffling my hair with her fingers, playing the melody of her touch. I looked at her face and struggled with my tears, till the agony of unspoken words burst my sleep like a bubble.

I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window, like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment she had a dream that rhymed with mine.

Rabindranath Tagore, section 28 from Lover’s gift and Crossing (University of California Libraries, 1918)

violentwavesofemotion

If you are too much like myself, what shall I learn of you, or you of me?

Mary Oliver, from Long Life: Essays And Other Writings (Da Capo Press, 2005)

violentwavesofemotion
[…] how I still, sometimes, crave understanding.

Mary Oliver, from Long Life: Essays And Other Writings (Da Capo Press, 2005)

violentwavesofemotion

This is to say nothing against afternoons, evenings or even midnight. Each has its portion of the spectacular. But dawn — dawn is a gift. Much is revealed about a person about his or her passion, or indifference, to this opening of the door of day. No one who loves dawn, and is abroad to see it, could be a stranger to me.

Mary Oliver, from Long Life: Essays And Other Writings (Da Capo Press, 2005)

nobodylovesart
Sam Moyer, Moving In, 2009, books, silicone, rubber bands, page from Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Sam Moyer, Moving In, 2009, books, silicone, rubber bands, page from Jonathan Livingston Seagull

(via terrenonussbukorrek)

[…] I love the past, the dark of it,
The weight of it teaching us nothing, the loss of it, the all
Of it asking for nothing, 

Mark Strand, from “I Will Love the Twenty-First Century,” New and Selected Poems. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

                                           The moon shone down as it will
On moments of deep introspection.  The wind held its breath.

Mark Strand, from “Old Man Leaves Party,” New and Selected Poems. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

Even if you were not the dazzling presence you are, I would be the
absence in you that I am - inside and out. Your presence is translucent,
crystalline, I see gardens beyond it and am swept away to high
wildernesses, inaccessible even to an imagination that is delighted by the
range of metaphor and hindered by the poverty of everyday language.
I say what I say to you in language that needs the density of honey and
the lightness of a butterfly, in the presence of this power that is capable
of raising mere chance to the level of something unique and wonderful.
For where does your silence take us, as it bestows upon obscure language
the seductiveness of word-play? As if l have not written before, and learnt
by heart what I wrote to you. Your presence is translucent, and I do
not know if your soul inhabited your body, or your body was clothed
in your soul and shone like a pearl in my darkness. Form and substance
are confused in my mind, and I see form as substance, and substance
as the perfect form. I compete with you to be silent, so that I don’t say
something which plunges me back into the sort of clumsy improvisation
I used before you. No, I’m not a poet waiting to get his poem from the
signals you give out. You and I - if we may be united in a single phrase,
just as we are together here in one room - are light and airy guests on
archetypal clouds, longing to fly to the trees of night, with no thought of
a tomorrow that fails to prepare us to live without hope. So I am present
and you are absent. I watch as your absence accumulates over my head
like a heavy sky. Even if you were not the absence you are, I would be the
presence I am. As if you are with me. As if I am in the utmost need of the
least thing.

— Mahmoud Darwish, from “Most and Least,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)