Quick Bites — Some “thought candy” for inspiration. A mix of the reading logs/recommendations section with quotes from articles, interviews, stories and the likes. If you’d like to see something featured, please message me via wordpress/email (timevaulted [at] gmail). ^^*
Something very strange was happening to Treehorn.
The first thing he noticed was that he couldn’t reach the shelf in his closet that he had always been able to reach before, the one where he hid his candy bars and bubble gum.
Edward Gorey, The Shrinking of Treehorn
There’s a surprise twist in this story, but I don’t want you to feel waylaid when it comes, so I’ll spoil it now: Heather dies in her sleep, at the age of twenty-five, of an undiagnosed heart condition.
It’s difficult to articulate the process by which two twelve-year-old girls with a lot of things in common—archetypally awkward, voracious readers, intellectually far ahead of their burgeoning social skills—become inseparable. It feels predestined, unfolding with the simplicity of a teen-movie montage: sleepovers, slasher movies, painting each other’s fingernails, singing into hairbrushes. It’s hard to imagine that there was a time I didn’t know her; that there are aspects of my personality that predate Heather. It feels like we created each other from scratch, scribbling in the details and watching ourselves take shape. We like scary movies. We say “fuck” a lot. We write poetry. I learn to think of myself as strong, confident, unaffected by adversity, because that’s how I see Heather. Without her I would be too self-conscious to be the first person on the dance floor. But she is always there beside me, throwing her long hair into my face, and I’m not embarrassed if the two of us are together.
I suspect that the curious personality merging you see in really close young-girl friendships can only be achieved under very particular circumstances. You must be at that point of adolescence where you’re only half-formed, as a person, but you feel fully formed. At twelve, you are so far from who you’re going to be, but in your mind you’re all the way there. Your opinions are intractably strong and you would die for them, but they’ll all be completely different in a month. The entire course of your life can be altered by a movie or a song or a long conversation in the dead of night after you’re supposed to have gone to sleep. Everything you have in common feels magical, as though knowing all the words to “Born to Run” is a sign that your souls are intertwined, instead of a sign that both of your parents came of age in the 1970s. As you begin to sculpt yourself into the person you want to be—the person you believe deep down you have always been, were always destined to be, and have only just now discovered—someone is there to hold your hand. When that happens, there is a part of you that never lets go.
Lindsay King Miller, Hold On To What You’ve Got
A man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
Next year he did not come for her. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet, but he never came.
“Perhaps he is ill,” Michael said.
“You know he is never ill.”
Michael came close to her and whispered, with a shiver,
“Perhaps there is no such person, Wendy!” and then Wendy would have cried if Michael had not been crying.
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Giovanni came to the base of the weather station pillar at the very top of the hill and, shuddering, plopped down into the cold grass. The lights of the town below were burning through the darkness as if the town itself were a miniature shrine at the bottom of the sea. He could faintly hear snatches of children’s screams and bits of whistles and songs. The wind howled far away and all the hill’s plant life rustled. His sweat-soaked shirt started to give him a chill as he looked down on the distant sweeping-black field from the edge of town.
The sound of a train came to him from the field. It was a little train with a single row of tiny red windows, and inside it all of the passengers were peeling apples, laughing or doing one thing and another. This made Giovanni feel immensely sad, and he once again gazed up at the sky.
But no matter how hard he looked at the sky, he just couldn’t see the cold barren place that the teacher had described in class. On the contrary, the more deeply he stared into it, the more he saw a field with little groves of trees and pastures. Then he noticed the blue stars of Lyra, the Harp, multiplying, twinkling all the while, and the Harp itself stretching out its legs then pulling them in until it looked like a long flat mushroom. As for the town just below, it took on the appearance of a blurry cluster of countless stars or a single, enormous puff of smoke…
Kenji Miyazawa, Night on the Galactic Railroad *Advance warning: This piece is more depressing than it lets on, but it is a very tranquil and beautiful piece in its own way… It’s one of those “children’s books” that I think adults gain from in the same way they do reading The Little Prince.
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life.
Say thank you.
Sugar from the Dear Sugar series on Rumpus, quoted via Brain Pickings
The easiest thing we can do for the person we love is to throw ourselves away. The strength to do things that aren’t in our nature—that’s love.
Yunjae, Answer Me 1997
If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that—warm things, kind things, sweet things—help and comfort and laughter—and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess