October 2012

Dreams and Dreaming #20

"I could get used to anything — that is, not really get used, but somehow voluntarily consent to endure it. But I had a way out that reconciled everything, which was — to escape into 'everything beautiful and lofty,' in dreams, of course. I dreamed terribly, I would dream for three months at a time, shrinking into my corner…" -Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

Bother and Nonsense

"'That doesn't sound very attractive,' laughed Anne. 'I like people to have a little nonsense about them.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

"Well, everybody has, or should have, a pet nonsense in her life. I did not think mine was any sillier than some others I knew, and to myself I admitted that it was very sweet." -L.M. Montgomery, "The Letters"

"'I don't know so much about nonsense, but there was nothing light-hearted in their romance: they came together under the shadow of a life's disaster, like knight and maiden meeting to exchange vows amongst haunted ruins. The starlight was good enough for that story, a light so fain and remote that it cannot resolve shadows into shapes, and show the other shore of a stream.'" -Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

"'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'" -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

"'All talk would be nonsense, I suppose, if it were written down,' she said, stirring her coffee.
Maggie stopped the machine for a moment and smiled.
'And even if it isn't,' she said." -Virginia Woolf, The Years

The Ghosts of Suffering

"…and all the time feeling like the miserable spirit in a ghost story she had once read who had a live coal in its breast instead of a heart." -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"'I am surrounded by bitter fancies and unbidden ghosts — the little spectral joys of the past.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"'I want rest — rest,' said Mrs. Kent, laughing wildly. 'Can you find that for me? Don’t you know I'm a ghost, Emily? I died years ago. I walk in the dark.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

"She said: 'I've met a ghost. That's what it is.'
'A ghost, Mademoiselle?'
'The ghost of what? Or of whom?'
'Oh, the ghost of myself.'
Poirot asked gently: 'Was it a painful ghost?'
'Unexpectedly painful. It took me back, you know.'"
-Agatha Christie, Evil Under the Sun

"'I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free-will, and of my own free-will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?'" -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

"Now I know why the ghosts howl and haunt the tidelands. It's not because they want to scare you or steal your soul. They just want to be Seen." -Jennifer L. Holm, The Trouble With May Amelia

On Friendship #28

"'I often think,' said she, 'that there is nothing so bad as parting with one's friends. One seems so forlorn without them.'" -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


"And was the day of my delight
     As pure and perfect as I say?
     The very source and fount of Day
Is dashed with wandering isles of night?

If all was good and fair we met,
     This earth had been the Paradise
     It never looked to human eyes
Since our first Sun arose and set.

And is it that the haze of grief
     Makes former gladness loom so great?
     The lowness of the present state,
That sets the past in this relief?

Or that the past will always win
     A glory from its being far;
     And orb into the perfect star
We saw not, when we moved therein?" -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam
                                                                                          A.H.H.: 24"

On Sadness #12

"I am just so very sad
And this is not for some gesture
That I tell you about this sadness now
No one loves me
I don't love them either
There are things to be done in the world
And I do them
Only out of a place of despair
That I make these things happen
I was born a separate human than you
But that does not mean I do not understand you
Or cannot accept you fully in my own way
I have been a lot of places
Most of them in my mind
But places nonetheless
That I have gone
I was meant to go there
Why?…" -Dorothea Lasky, "Sad"

On Love #36

"'He was not worthy of remembrance — and yet I do remember him. I can't forget him — and I hate him all the more for it — for having entered so deeply into my life that I could not cast him out when I knew him unworthy. It is humiliating.'" -L.M. Montgomery, "Miss Sally's Letter"

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