"I never felt open in any way. I would never impulsively ring people and assume that they’d want to see me, or just go ‘round. I always had to sit down and think very hard before I knocked on anybody’s door. And consequently, I never really knocked."
"My heart does not belong to me, nor to anyone else. It declared its
independence from me before it turned into a stone."
Mahmoud Darwish, excerpt from “From now on you are somebody else” in A River Dies of Thirst
"I am tormenting you by my existence, my very existence."
"You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again."
"What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find."
"The cost of daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse."
"It seems to me sometimes that I do not really exist, but that I merely imagine I exist. The thing that I have the greatest difficulty in believing in, is my own reality. I am constantly getting outside myself, and as I watch myself act I cannot understand how a person who acts is the same as the person who is watching him act, and who wonders in astonishment and doubt how he can be an actor and a watcher at the same moment."
"I’m angry that I live in a world where a man who picks food for a living can’t afford to feed his family."
"I have this demon who wants me to run away screaming if I am going to be flawed, fallible. It wants me to think I’m so good I must be perfect. Or nothing. I am, on the contrary, something: a being who gets tired, has shyness to fight, has more trouble than most facing people easily. One gets used to pain. This hurts. Not being perfect hurts. So what. It’s about time. I am what I am, and have written, lived and travelled: I have been worth what I have won, but must work to be worth more. I shall not be more by wishful thinking. If I get through this year, kicking my demon down when it comes up, I’ll be able, piece by piece, to face the field of life, instead of running from it the minute it hurts. This is the month which ends a quarter of a century for me, lived under the shadow of fear: fear that I would fall short of some abstract perfection: I have often fought, fought and won, not perfection, but an acceptance of myself as having a right to live on my own human, fallible terms."
"It was an occasion to be happy. But something weighed on me, some inscrutable yearning, an indefinable and perhaps even noble desire. Perhaps it was just taking me a long time to feel alive. And when I leaned out my high window, looking down at the street I couldn’t see, I suddenly felt like one of those damp rags used for house-cleaning that are taken to the window to dry but are forgotten, balled up, on the sill where they slowly leave a stain."
"What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do."
"I was absent at the moment when I took up the most space."