My Life in Art
or, Going Somewhere by Train
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13: Not updating here too often any more
When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another's skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness--and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
- Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
Why is the measure of love loss?
It hasn't rained for three months. The trees are prospecting underground, sending reserves of roots into the dry ground, roots like razors to open any artery water-fat.
The grapes have withered on the vine. What should be plump and firm, resisting the touch to give itself in the mouth, is spongy and blistered. Not this year the pleasure of rolling blue grapes between finger and thumb juicing my palm with musk. Even the wasps avoid the thin brown dribble. Even the wasps this year. It was not always so.
I am thinking of a certain September: Wood pigeon Red Admiral Yellow Harvest Orange Night. You said, "I love you." Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? "I love you" is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say it we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them. I did worship them but now I am alone on a rock hewn out of my own body.
CALIBAN You taught me language and my profit on't is
I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language.
- Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
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