Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it… It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.
– Erica Jong
Hold your head high, heavy heart. I know it’s harder some days and the new year is the time to make a change, to prioritize your ambition, the romantic, the neglected art. If you feel critiqued incessantly, you begin to forget who you are. People, including us at times, who are preoccupied with criticism, have no room to be original or to produce anything. They’re just reiterating the lines that keep us in convenient, digestible boxes. You are cage-less, boundless, without limit, darling. Keep your heart free, no matter the times it is lost.
Those of us who think we know
the same secrets
are silent together most of the time,
for us there is eloquence
in desire, and for a while
when in love and exhausted
it’s enough to nod like shy horses
and come together
in a quiet ceremony of tongues.
It’s in disappointment we look for words
to convince us
the spaces between stars are nothing
to worry about;
it’s when those secrets burst
in that emptiness between our hearts
and the lumps in our throats.
And the words we find
are always insufficient, like love,
though they are often lovely
and all we have.
– Stephen Dunn
When you’ve been to hell and back, when you know what that tastes like, this world feels so good now.
You can see those souls by the mark in their look, their pause before judgement, and their delectation for what the rest of us ignore.
When you meet these people, do not let them go. Surround yourself with them, ask questions, take pleasure in theirs.
Forgiveness, I finally decide, is not a form of amnesia, nor is it a form of madness as Derrida claims. For the one who forgives, it is simply a death, a dying down in the heart, the position of the already dead. It is in the end the living through, the understanding that this has happened, is happening, happens. Period. It is a feeling of nothingness that cannot be communicated to another, an absence, a bottomless vacancy held by the living, beyond all that is hated or loved.
– Claudia Rankine