|—||Rainer Maria Rilke in a letter, from Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, Vol II|
|—||Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet|
|—||Alejandra Pizarnik, from “Rings of Ash,” Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962 – 1972|
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
―from JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr Rochester’s past are revealed. Charlotte Brontë’s novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has, ever since its publication in 1847, enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving affirmation of the prerogatives of the heart in the face of disappointment and misfortune. JANE EYRE has enjoyed huge popularity since first publication, and its success owes much to its exceptional emotional power. – Everyman’s Library, FB
It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
And then the wall rose,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Just arrived home after seeing a good friend in the hospital, I was so honored to have been there at the end. This was a man who had dodged a snipers bullet in Bosnia, had survived many armed patrols in Iraq. A man who had walked away from a high speed motorcycle crash, unharmed.
At the hospital, just before he went, he beckoned me toward him so I sat on his bed, close to him. He couldn’t speak due to the pipes and tubes so I moved closer as he pointed at his mouth. I said, “I don’t know what you are trying to say, can you write?”
He nodded vigorously so I passed him some paper from his bedside cabinet and took the pen from my pocket. Unfortunately, as he was writing, he stopped, the machine that he was attached to started to make that ominous monotone that signals it’s all over.
The paper dropped from his hand to the bed as the nurses rushed in and tried to revive him but to no avail, it was all in vain. My friend now knew all the answers to all the questions ever asked, including the ultimate. I grabbed the paper and stuffed it in my pocket.
I returned to my car with a heavy heart, trying to avoid looking into the faces of the various patients, visitors and hospital workers. I got to my car without breaking up, and, as I fumbled for my keys my fingers touched the note from the recently deceased.
By now it was all crumpled up so I attempted to iron it out on the hood. It just looked gibberish so I returned it to my coat pocket. I have just gotten home. I was about to throw it away, but it occurred to me that maybe my facebook friends could help me make some sense out of this seeming nonsense.
Here it is, maybe one of you can make something of it. If so, please let me know.
— David J Harr, FB user
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
— Franz Kafka
The world is what exists and what happens, but we gain enormous insight by talking about it — telling its story — in different ways.” — Sean Carroll
I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.
– Edith Wharton, The Fullness of Life