July 2010 Archives

Advice to the young girl in the audience.

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At one of Quentin Crisp's question and answer sessions in his one-man show, 

a girl in the audience asked 'What is the quickest remedy for a broken heart?' 

to which he replied:

'The quickest remedy is that you must learn not to 

value love because it is requited. 

It makes no difference whether your love is returned. 

Your love is of value to you because you give it. 

It's as though you gave me a present merely because 

you thought I'd give you one in return. 

This won't do. 

If you have love to give, you give it and you give it where it is needed, 

but never, never ask for anything in return. 

Once you've got that into your head, 

the idea of your heart being broken will disappear.'

The sky from my road looking north.

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- Posted from my iPhone
I'll tell you, if you really want to know: 
remember that day you lost two years ago 
at the rockpool where you sat and played the jeweler 
with all those stones you'd stolen from the shore? 
Most of them went dark and nothing more, 
but sometimes one would blink the secret color 
it had locked up somewhere in its stony sleep. 
This is how you knew the ones to keep. 
 So I collect the dull things of the day 
in which I see some possibility 
but which are dead and which have the surprise 
I don't know, and I've no pool to help me tell--
so I look at them and look at them until 
one thing makes a mirror in my eyes 
then I paint it with the tear to make it bright. 
This is why I sit up through the night. 

 - Posted (badly) from my iPhone

Return trip.

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It was 2006, I was in Boston, taking the green line downtown and had just entered the underground station.
The lines at the cashier windows on both sides of the turnstiles were long. 
A tall soldier, dressed in camouflage carrying a large duffle bag over his shoulder was staring at the lines too, obviously confused. 
I had already pre-purchased tokens (this was before they were phased out) 
and told him to follow me. 
I thumbed a gold token into the turnstiles for each of us. 
We went through and I found the stairs to the tracks. 
A few minutes of waiting I found him again. 
He still looked nervous and lost. 
I asked him where he was headed, he told me he was 
heading to a base for deployment to Afghanistan.
I told him which stop he wanted to switch to the rail trains.
He thanked me and turned to face the subway arriving in the station. 
"Here" I said, and pressed another token into his hand. 
"What's this for?" he asked. 
"You'll need it for the ride home." I said, and walked to the opening doors.


You Are There by Erica Jong

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You are there. 
You have always been there. 
Even when you thought you were climbing you had already arrived. 
Even when you were breathing hard, you were at rest. 
Even then it was clear you were there. 
Not in our nature to know what is journey and what arrival. 
Even if we knew we would not admit. 
Even if we lived we would think we were just germinating. 
To live is to be uncertain. 
Certainty comes at the end.

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