ISOLATO! Do you think yourself a string too short to save? Do you think that you are lank and straight, a linear bit with no connection fore or aft? Fear not your insignificance. Nature has a drawer for you. Yes, nature garners all the string too short to save, and mice visit that drawer. Here’s nesting material! Yes, you will be interwoven, be it now or later.
Ahab’s Wife, Sena Jeter Naslund
We have but one passenger which we should have been willing to have been without; I have no particular reason to dislike him, as he is studiously complasant to me; but I know his politeness to me, is not personally upon my own account but because of my connection which gives me importance sufficient to intitle me to his notice…he is always inquiring who was such a General? What was his origin and rank in Life? I have felt a Disposition to quarrel with him several times; but have restraind myself; and only observed to him mildly, that merit; not tittles, gave a man preeminence in our Country, that I did not doubt it was a mortifying circumstance to the British nobility, to find themselves so often conqured mecanicks and mere husaband men-but that we esteemed it our Glory to draw such characters not only into the field but into the Senate; and I believed no one would deny but what they had shone in both. All our passengers enjoyed this conversation, and the Gentleman was civil enough to drop the Subject.
Abigail Adams, July 16, 1784 (spelling errors included)
Abigail contemplates picking a fight with a pretentious “haughty Scotchman” on board the Active and outsmarts him, much to the amusement of all the passengers.
Abby is the best.
I know people who believe in ghosts but don’t believe in themselves. It’s sad. Okay, you don’t think you’ll ever make it as a musician, but last night you saw a translucent caveman.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.
It’s that time and that place and that song, and when you listen to that song, you know you’re not in that time anymore and you just, you feel… hollow inside.
Safety Not Guaranteed
Below a certain age, [children] don’t distinguish between ‘true’ and ‘not true,’ because they see no reason that a white rabbit shouldn’t possess a pocket watch, that whales shouldn’t talk, or that sentient beings shouldn’t live on other planets and travel around in spaceships. Science-fiction tropes aren’t read as ‘science fiction’; they’re read as fiction. And fiction is read as reality. And sometimes reality lives under the bed and has very large teeth, and it’s no use pretending otherwise.
from The Spider Women, by Margaret Atwood
The New Yorker: The Science Fiction Issue, June 4 & 11, 2012
I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.
The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvellously through the tangles of his later years.
When everything is lonely, I can be my own best friend. I get a coffee and the paper; have my own conversations.