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Threshold
...she walked in through the out door.
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Edith! The 7-year-old girl played with her elder brothers in a room nearby when she heard the breathless voice of her mother. Go, tell your father I must see him. The girl run out in the sunshine to the barn. Her father, a farmer and major of a small village, hurried to her mother's sickbed and shut the door behind him. After a short dialogue which the children curiously tried to overhear he went out to harness the horses. In the afternoon he returned with the officiating notary from town, who went to her mother, bedridden by tuberculosis since two long years now.

My mother knew that she'll die, so she wanted to dictate her will, my aunt Edith told me more than 80 years later. Oh, she must have felt death coming soon, for shortly after the notary's visit she died. I saw her testament for the first time 14 years later, when I was of full age. Her signature...it was so frail, so frail. She knew that my father had to remarry soon after her death...imagine, we were four children, and a farmer needed a wife, there was so much hard work to be done. My mother also knew he will have children with his second wife, and that this wife will benefit her own offspring someday. So she wanted to dispose her dowry not to her husband but to her children. She had a dowry of 5000 Goldmark, my dear, quite a sum at that time! To each of my three elder brothers she disposed 1000 Goldmark and to me 2000 Goldmark "to enable my daughter a good formal education". Because of this heritage I could attend a college, earn my own living and grow up to be an independent woman. My father wouldn't allow that, I was only a girl. But she did.

I admire this woman, who was so clear-sighted at the verge of death. Who died in the old way, with a keen sense for the very hour of her death, settling her matters, settling the matters of the ones she was responsible for.


Ferdinand Hodler - Valentine Gode-Darel

More than half a century later, after war and flight, closed and reopened borders my aunt visited her mother's grave and wept bitterly for a mother who could only guard her by her last will.

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I want to be like the drunk who wanders through the world, staggers into rooms, and utters truth. Transparent, embarrassing, unfaceable, irrepressible. I will never be like that; I will always be the prissy too-many-things-to-consider.
Alice B. Sheldon, Note, n.d., on stationary from the Seymour, Mary's New York Hotel

To have the guts to be bold and proud without being irresistible - too risky, indeed.


Scott Schuman - Rue Ampre Paris

Style is when they're running you out of town and you make it look as if you're leading the parade.
Sebastian Horsley, Dandy in the Underworld

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Many years ago we visited the great Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam, which is illuminated down to the present day only by hundreds of candles.

Two Sephardim stood in the anteroom, deep in conversation. First we hesitated to disturb them. "May we go in?" One of them smiled and said: "You're welcome. But we will not invite you."

A sentence I could have said to everyone who entered my life.


film still of Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.
Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America


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Current Music: Julian Smith - I'm reading a book

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And in any language
I knew they were saying
The future was cutting us free.

Judy Collins,
Morocco

cover of Maurizio Cattelan's magazine \\"Toilet Paper\\"
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Mein Herz gehört dem Kopf.
Arno Schmidt, Das Buch Jedermann. James Joyce zum 25. Todestag

45.

As the youngest child with much elder siblings I always longed to grow older and this wish will never wear off.


Alicia Savage Destinations

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Das Jahr vergeht in Monatsraten.
Es ist schon wieder fast vorbei.
Und was man tut, sind selten Taten.
Das, was man tut, ist Tuerei.

Erich Kästner, Herbst auf der ganzen Linie

Robert ParkeHarrison - Lucid Dream


New year's morn', the sun breaks through the clouds.

Use your time means use your life.
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Yesterday morning I found a dead cat on the pavement. Her white and silver-grey fur was soaked in blood, although no external injuries were visible. Maybe she was hit by a car. I lifted her up in my arms and carried her away as careful as I would have done if she had been alive. The body was still warm, her eyes still clear.

dead cat 27-12-2013

This year brought illness, despair, loss, death of friends and relatives.
A friend of mine once said, she always thought that age will numb oneself against these strokes. But quite the contrary, it thins the skin.
She was right.


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I continue opening boxes.
I find more faded and cracked photographs than I want ever again to see.
I find many engraved invitations to the weddings of people who are no longer married.
I find many mass cards from the funerals of people whose faces I no longer remember.
In theory these mementos serve to bring back the moment.
In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was there.
Joan Didion, Blue Nights




I myself placed her ashes in the wall.
I myself saw the cathedral doors locked at six.
I know what it is I am now experiencing.
I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.
The fear is not for what is lost.
What is lost is already in the wall.
What is lost is already behind locked doors.
The fear is for what is still to be lost.
Joan Didion, Blue Nights

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'If the past was going to destroy you it already would have.'
'Not necessarily. It might have been waiting for just the right moment. The past has all the time in the world. It's only the future which is running out.'

Edward St. Aubyn, Mother's Milk


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Current Music: Nico, These Days

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He accompanied me for 12 years, shared my rooms, shared my everyday life. This really special black tomcat, large, slim, elegant, full of character. He was as close to me as I was fond of him. Yesterday he suffered severe pain by a thrombosis of the abdominal aorta. The vet couldn't help him, and so he was euthanised today while he lay on my lap. Part of me then died, too.

Natsumi Hayashi - Guru
Natsumi Hayashi, Guru

Eine Katze haben,
heißt eine Katze verlieren.
Andere mögen von Menschen reden,
ich rede von Tieren.

Robert Gernhardt

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Holly stepped out of the car; she took the cat with her. Cradling him, she scratched his head and asked, What do you think? This ought to be the right kind of place for a tough guy like you. Garbage cans. Rats galore. Plenty of cat-bums to gang around with. So scram, she said, dropping him; and when he did not move away, instead raised his thug-face and questioned her with yellowish pirate-eyes, she stamped her foot: I said beat it! He rubbed against her leg. I said fuck off! she shouted, then jumped back in the car, slammed the door, and: Go, she told the driver, Go. Go.

I was stunned. Well, you are. You are a bitch.

We'd traveled a block before she replied. I told you. We just met by the river one day, that's all. Independents, both of us. We never made each other any promises. We never -- she said, and her voice collapsed, a tic, an invalid whiteness seized her face. The car had paused for a traffic light. Then she had the door open, she was running down the street; and I ran after her. But the cat was not at the corner where he'd been left.
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's



In Truman Capote's novella Holly Golightly didn't found the cat, didn't really searched for it, and hurried off to new adventures, alone. Without looking back, careless and free.

Maybe the happier end.

For sure the more reliable one.



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D.
User: dalaruan
Name: D.
about this journal
I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions.
Vladimir Nabokov
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