E. A. Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher

And thus, as a closer and still close intimacy admitted me more unreservedly into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive the futility of all attempts at cheering a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe in one unceasing radiation of gloom.

From “What the Wind Knows”

By A. Harmon

The actual quote in the original form, with more text captured for context, can be found under the break. What follows here is a version I altered to make it more general and gender-neutral, because I was especially impressed and affected by the sentiments as they apply to my current obsession with War and Strife from Darksiders. I also cast one part as verse, because that’s how it sounded. Beautiful!

If all people loved their spouses as I love mine,
we would be a useless lot.
Or maybe… the world would know peace.
Maybe the wars would end and the strife would cease
as we centered our lives on loving,
and being loved.

I know the novelty will wear off, and life will intrude before long. But it is not the newness of love, the newness of us, that has captured me. It is the opposite! It is as if we always were and always will be, as though our love and our lives sprang from the same source and will return to that source in the end, intertwined and indistinguishable. We are ancient. Prehistoric! And predestined.

Image: Fractal flower by Luis-Bello

Continue reading From “What the Wind Knows”

Mrs. Dalloway

by V. Woolf

What an odd book! With no plot whatsoever, the narrative flows from one point of view to another, sometimes smoothly and sometimes making nearly unintelligible jumps. Almost every character that’s mentioned, no matter how thin their connection to the titular Mrs. Dalloway, her friends and family, gets to to ‘speak their mind’. I struggled to find connections. At times I struggled to tell what the hell was going on. But despite the oddity, I mostly enjoyed reading it. The writing is unorthodox, occasionally poetic, and I was struck by its beauty more than a few times. So here I’ll save some highlights:

Continue reading Mrs. Dalloway

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Two dismally absurd persons… were posted at the front door; and in one of them I recognized a postboy discharged from the Boar for running a young couple into a sawpit on their bridal morning, in consequence of intoxication rendering it necessary for him to ride his horse clasped round the neck with both hands.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s your life — but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else or a community or a pressure group, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.