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...she walked in through the out door.

"The miles he runs around the world to escape, you run in your mind", she said.

My 'mind'.

And I still miss you.

Mile by mile, man by man.

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Current Music: Liza Minnelli, Mein Herr (Cabaret)

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Watching, not doing. Seeking safety in not  being seen. It's a habit you can fall into, willing yourself into invisibility. And it doesn't serve you well in life. Believe me it doesn't. Not with people and loves and hearts and homes and work.
Helen MacDonald, H is for Hawk

As the child of a refugee who decided to assimilate as fast and as perfect as possible into the new culture and country, I learned very early in life to adapt and to melt into a background like a chameleon. For my mother it was a survival strategy. It came with a high price as you can never deny your roots without betraying yourself. You can never be one of them, remaining a foreigner with a borrowed identity. While your own betrayed identity becomes more and more blurred.

You feel very uncomfortable when the spot is on you, when someone gives you attention. You might be found out as a pretender, a fake, unreal. At the same time you wish someone sees through this masquerade and accepts you as you are. But what are you?

What are you?

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Delight becomes pictorial
When viewed through pain, -
More fair, because impossible
That any gain.

Emily Dickinson

I last as a memory
they can't get rid of
won't get rid of
in men's life

An episode
like life itself

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Current Music: Nina Simone - The Other Woman

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Als sie einander acht Jahre kannten
(und man darf sagen: sie kannten sich gut),
kam ihre Liebe plötzlich abhanden.
Wie andern Leuten ein Stock oder Hut.

Sie waren traurig, betrugen sich heiter,
versuchten Küsse, als ob nichts sei,
und sahen sich an und wussten nicht weiter.
Da weinte sie schließlich. Und er stand dabei.

Vom Fenster aus konnte man Schiffen winken.
Er sagte, es wäre schon Viertel nach Vier
und Zeit, irgendwo Kaffee zu trinken.
Nebenan übte ein Mensch Klavier.

Sie gingen ins kleinste Café am Ort
und rührten in ihren Tassen.
Am Abend saßen sie immer noch dort.
Sie saßen allein, und sie sprachen kein Wort
und konnten es einfach nicht fassen.

Erich Kästner, Sachliche Romanze


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I always thought I was the butterfly that successfully escapes the spider's net
But I am the spider
Trapped in my own net

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Current Music: Rickie Lee Jones - Last Chance Texaco

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Is fake love better than real love? Real love is responsibility, compromise, selflessness, being present, and all that shit. Fake love is magic, excitement, false hope, infatuation, and getting high off the potential that another person is going to save you from yourself.

Melissa Broder, So Sad Today

You were always good at desire, passion, sex. Rare moments so intense you almost feel safe, almost connected to another.

When thus I hail the moment flying:
“Ah, still delay — thou art so fair!”
Then bind me in thy bonds undying,
My final ruin then declare!

Faust I, A study [Translation by Bayard Taylor]

Retreat to the shadows you belong to.

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The very same day a year ago I followed you to that roof in Italy. This could get very intense, you said. But you didn't imagine how intense it would be and how strongly we both fell for this intensity, this abyss of total immersion.

It scared you as it scared me.

Part of me is still on that roof, waiting for you. Although I sense that the man I knew is gone.

But as long as I stay here the bond that made us possible will not break.

And you know it.

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"You must not tell anyone," my mother said, "what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born. [...]

Don't tell anyone you had an aunt. Your father does not want to hear her name. She has never been born." I have believed that sex was unspeakable and words so strong and fathers so frail that "aunt" would do my father mysterious harm. I have thought that my family, having settled among immigrants who had also been their neighbors in the ancestral land, needed to clean their name, and a wrong word would incite the kinspeople even here. But there is more to this silence: they want me to participate in her punishment.

And I have. In the twenty years since I heard this story I have not asked for details nor said my aunt's name; I do not know it. People who can comfort the dead can also chase after them to hurt them further - a reverse ancestor worship. The real punishment was not the raid swiftly inflicted by the villagers, but the family's deliberately forgetting her. [...]

My aunt haunts me - her ghost drawn to me because now, after fifty years of neglect, I alone devote pages of paper to her [...] I do not think she always means me well. I am telling on her, and she was a spite suicide, drowning herself in the drinking water. The Chinese are always very frightened of the drowned one, whose weeping ghost, wet hair hanging and skin bloated, waits silently by the water to pull down a substitute.
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior. Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts

'Remain silent about it' was a command I know too well.

The curse of silence. As if silence could make things undone. It sets them in stone, an unspoken influence, like a dominant ghost.

I try to break it, because I believe in the healing effect of elucidation, opened windows and exposure to light.

But too often I'm tongue-tied, silenced by other's silence.

Open up, you have something to say

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When at noon the white fire of verses
Flickering dances above the urn,
Remember, my son. Remember the vanished
Who planted their conversations like trees.
The garden is dead, more heavy my breathing,
Preserve the hour, here Theophrastus walked.
With oak bark to feed the soil and enrich it,
To bandage with fibre the wounded bole
And olive tree splits the brickwork grown brittle
And still is a voice in the mote-laden heat
Their order was to fell and uproot it,
Your light is fading, defenceless leaves.

Peter Huchel, The Garden of Theophrastus
[Translation by Michael Hamburger]

Bruxelles-6 Frere Orbansquare.jpg

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My brain was the instrument of my success and my pride, but it also carried all the tools for my destruction.
Elyn R. Saks, The Center Cannot Hold

You called it 'kamikaze', but isn't it something less glorious? A strong, powerful, beautifully crafted engine is sabotaged by its skilled technician, who cuts cables, unfastens screws, pollutes the fuel. The plane can still take off and fly, but something doesn't work, it can't stand turbulences as it once could, it can't reach its destination.

A metaphor, as you love aviation.

It is sad to watch and hard to bear. You endanger and hurt others, yes. But you endanger and hurt yourself as well. As if there is someone inside who hates and tries to destroy you. And yet this can't be all you are. There must also be a part of you that's caring and protective and kind. Only you can give this part the upper hand again.


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