"Having never discovered qualities in myself that might attract someone else, I could never believe that anyone felt attracted to me. This opinion of myself would be stupidly modest, if facts on facts – those unexpected facts I expected – didn’t always confirm it."
It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
"But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that."
"Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?"
"I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human."
"She wouldn’t say what we both knew. “The reason you will not say it is, when you say it, even to yourself, you will know it is true: is that it? But you know it is true now. I can almost tell you the day when you knew it is true. Why won’t you say it, even to yourself?”
"Art exists because life is not enough."
"The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse."
"Of whom and of what indeed can I say: "I know that!"
This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers. I can sketch one by one all the aspects it is able to assume, all those likewise that have been attributed to it, this upbringing, this origin, this ardor or these silences, this nobility or this vileness. But aspects cannot be added up. This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance, the gap will never be filled. Forever I shall be a stranger to myself."
"Whiskey makes the heart beat faster
but it sure doesn’t help the
mind and isn’t it funny how you can ache just
from the deadly drone
"I felt the sensation of each of the directions I mentally and emotionally turned into amazed at all the possible directions you can take with different motives that come in, like it can make you a different person - I’ve often thought of this since childhood, of suppose instead of going up Columbus as I usually did I’d turn into Filbert would something happen that at the time is insignificant enough but would be like enough to influence my whole life in the end? - What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take?” - and all that, so if this had not been such a constant preoccupation that accompanied me in my solitude which I played upon in as many different ways as possible I wouldn’t bother now except but seeing the horrible roads this pure supposing goes to it took me to frights, if I wasn’t so damned persistent - and so on deep into the day, a long confusing story only pieces of which and imperfectly I remember, just the mass of the misery in connective form"
"It bothers me that no one has the patience to deal with someone who is just sad."