“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”
“Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed.”
“Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them.”
“A child weaned on poison considers harm a comfort.”
“Problems always start long before you really, really see them.”
“I just think some women aren't made to be mothers. And some women aren't made to be daughters.”
“Safer to be feared than loved.”
“I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.”
“To spend a life in dreams, that sounded too lovely.”
“They always call depression the blues, but I would have been happy to waken to a periwinkle outlook. Depression to me is urine yellow, washed out, exhausted miles of weak piss.”
“There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst. Begging for a pin prick.”
“It's impossible to compete with the dead. I wished I could stop trying.”
“I've always been partial to the image of liquor as lubrication, a layer of protection from all the sharp thoughts in your head.”
“Every time people said I was pretty, I thought of everything ugly swarming beneath my clothes.”
“I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It's covered with words - cook, cupcake, kitty, curls - as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful. Why these words? Thousands of hours of therapy have yielded a few ideas from the good doctors. They are often feminine, in a Dick and Jane, pink vs. puppy dog tails sort of way. Or they're flat-out negative. Number of synonyms for anxious carved in my skin: eleven. The one thing I know for sure is that at the time, it was crucial to see these letters on me, and not just see them, but feel them. Burning on my left hip: petticoat.
And near it, my first word, slashed on an anxious summer day at age thirteen: wicked. I woke up that morning, hot and bored, worried about the hours ahead. How do you keep safe when your whole day is as wide and empty as the sky? Anything could happen. I remember feeling that word, heavy and slightly sticky across my pubic bone. My mother's steak knife. Cutting like a child along red imaginary lines. Cleaning myself. Digging in deeper. Cleaning myself. Pouring bleach over the knife and sneaking through the kitchen to return it. Wicked. Relief. The rest of the day, I spent ministering to my wound. Dig into the curves of W with an alcohol-soaked Q-tip. Pet my cheek until the sting went away. Lotion. Bandage. Repeat.”
“This is the unforgiving light of the morning, time to drop the illusion.”
“People got such a charge from seeing their names in print. Proof of existence. I could picture a squabble of ghosts ripping through piles of newspapers. Pointing at a name on the page. See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”
“Women get consumed. Not surprising, considering the sheer amount of traffic a woman's body experiences. Tampons and speculums. Cocks, fingers, vibrators and more, between the legs, from behind, in the mouth.”
“Sometimes it is all too loud.”
“See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”
“Sometimes I think I won't ever feel safe until I can count my last days on one hand.”
“To refuse has so many more consequences than submitting.”
“A town so suffocating and small, you tripped over people you hated every day. People who knew things about you. It's the kind of place that leaves a mark.”
“I've always believed clear-eyed sobriety was for the harder hearted.”
“Ah, well, being conflicted means you can live a shallow life without copping to be a shallow person.”
“How do you keep safe when your whole day is as wide and empty as the sky?”
“And sometimes drunk women aren't raped; they just make stupid choices--and to say we deserve special treatment when we're drunk because we're women, to say we need to be looked after, I find offensive.”
“Sometimes I think I won't ever feel safe until I can count my last days on one hand. Three more days to get through until I don't have to worry about life anymore.”
“Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom.”
“I thought you had to go to The Hall?" she said.
"To learn?" Dar looked genuinely surprised. "No, Kale, Wulder is everywhere, therefore His lessons are everywhere."
"I know Wulder made all things, and Pretender tried to copy His work. But I didn't know Wulder is everywhere. How could that be?"
"You're thinking of Wulder as having a body and moving from place to place." Dar stood and pivoted in a circle with his arms outstretched. "Wulder is everywhere. You can see His power by recognizing His work. When a flower opens, that's His work. When the stars twinkle at night, that's His work."
He paused, facing her. He let his arms fall to his sides. "Look at me, Kale. Right now, I am standing with Wulder all around me. I'm under His protection, within His will, standing on His pledge. And Wulder is, at the very same moment, in me."
"Me, too?" asked Kale.
"Yes." Dar knelt in front of her, his earnest face only inches away.
She looked into his dark brown eyes and saw strength and peace. She wondered at his patience with her. Often her marione masters gruffly explained things they thought she should already understand.
Dar winked before he continued, his funny face serious and yet cheerful at imparting what must be old knowledge to him. "So many people don't know who Wulder is or what He's capable of doing. Their ignorance doesn't make Wulder less of a being; it makes them less. Until they know, they can't be whole."
He leaned back and sighed, spread his arms out in a gesture of explanation, and continued, "It's so simple, Kale. Everything hinges on His willingness to be involved with our world. When a mountain stands instead of tumbling down. He's holding it there. If He were to leave..." Dar shook his head. "If He were to leave, all that He holds in order would spin out of control. But He will never leave.”
“We all have such stories. It is a brutal arithmetic. But I - I am alive. You are alive. As long as we breathe, we can see and hear. As long as we can remember, all those gone before are alive inside us.”
“... por lo poco que el espíritu necesita para contentarse, puede medirse la extensión de lo que ha perdido.”
“There is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations”
“What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”
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