"We have explicit expectations of ourselves in specific situations - beyond expectations; they are requirements. Some of these are small: If we are given a surprise party, we will be delighted. Others are sizable: If a parent dies, we will be grief-stricken. But perhaps in tandem with these expectatations is the private fear that we will fail convention in the crunch. That we will receive the fateful phone call and our mother is dead and we feel nothing. I wonder if this quiet, unutterable little fear is even keener than the fear of bad news itself: that we will discover ourselves to be monstrous.
…Thus even tragedy can be accompanied by a trace of relief. The discovery that heartbreak is indeed heartbreaking consoles us about our humanity.”
—We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver (via anglicansaint)
Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper. I didn’t want to write these pages until there were no hard feelings, no sharp ones. I do not have that luxury. I am sad and angry and I want everyone to be alive again. I want more landmarks, less landmines. I want to be grateful but I’m having a hard time with it.
—Richard Siken (via writingsforwinter)
There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
—Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled (via itsfromabook)
i don’t know what brings broken people together
maybe damage seeks out damage
the way stains on a mattress halo into one another
the way stains on a mattress bleed into each other.
—Warsan Shire (via larmoyante)