I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ — and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again…
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
How odd, I can have all this inside me
and to you it’s just words.
My children are not only my little darlings but off-shoots of myself. When I look at them, I have a strange feeling - as if I am watching myself re-living my life. What I want to show is their “living form”. -Hideaki Hamada
2012/12 “Haru and Mina/Hideaki Hamada’s Family Album”, Taiwan
I’ve been quite miserable. You’d call me selfish — but I feel it more and more; I feel the need to be alone with people who understand without having to try. I need that sense of effortlessness right there — I just refuse to hold back these days. I refuse to settle for some lucidity of mind in my own privacy and then no more energy left, no more vitality left to keep me going. It’s all anxiety and restlessness. And — I find it more and more hard to waste my time on people I don’t truly care about for I feel they don’t care enough either. Or they do care, in their own way, but it’s just not meaningful to me whatsoever. Does it all lie in my complete inability to receive? At any rate, I think they surely like the idea — that’s why they obviously keep coming around for tea! But at this point, I can’t have that — and there’s no point, really, for they don’t understand, ever, and in all my misery I am still pretty arrogant and demanding enough to believe that it is my right to wish to be felt rather than be understood but that doesn’t seem to happen either. So, here it is: is it possible? I ask. Is “emotion” possible without “understanding” of some sort?
Alas, you’re always ready to give your love, it’s the easiest thing to get from you. I’m not talking about your love for me, which is well beyond that, but you are lavish with little secondary loves, like that night in Thiviers when you loved that peasant walking downhill in the dark, whistling away, who turned out to be me. Get to know the feeling, free of tenderness, that comes from being two. It’s hard, because all friendship, even between two red-blooded men, has its moments of love. I have only to console my grieving friend to love him; it’s a feeling easily weakened and distorted. But you’re capable of it, and you must experience it.
I go to sleep and wake up
different. You make a lengthy
drive across Iowa to find
the other end of Iowa, its fields
hung silent in iron sky. Claims
are always being made
about precision. If I were a bird
I would mean to be
the small kind. What is going on
in that room where
no one lives? It might fill
itself with delicate things,
some very nice iron bowls,
twelve miniature trees all
of them aflame. Listen,
Cody. How many times
did they tell you
you’d never make it? One day
is never longer than
the next untangling film
from a canister. Somebody
means to measure you
by needle and light.
I take a quiet kind
of panic to the river.
— Wendy Xu, “It’s Almost My Birthday Don’t Tell Anyone” (via commovente)
The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.