Monday, July 19, 2010

excerpts from: If You Follow Me, Malena Watrous

He told me that the best inventions were things that people needed without knowing it, things they wanted but couldn't name, holes they felt but didn't know how to fill. The key was to invent something so elemental that people would forget it hasn't always existed.
p. 59

"Have you heard a baby learn to speak? baby begins with singing. Speech comes second. When we learn fear, we forget how to sing."
p. 88

Wasn't I sad? Of course, I said then too. I could tell that she wanted me to be sadder, or more transparent in my sadness, to share it with her, split the pain. But "sad" was a pathetic little word, too small to contain what I felt. I was a shattered windshield: one tap and I'd collapse. The whole world had been pulled out from under me and I was still waiting to fall. I had wasted tears on so many silly things. How could I cry for this too?
p. 158

"I am confused," Miyoshi-sensei says. "I think correct answer is, 'I want to come with you.' But you wrote that correct answer is, 'I want to come inside you.'"

'Both sentences work grammatically," I say.

"But meaning is different?"

"Sort of." I hope he won't press for clarification.

"Prepositions are so difficult," he says. "I want to come near you. I want to come next to you. I want to come beside you. I want to come close to you... To me, it's so many ways to say the same thing. Can you hear something I don't?"

What I hear, for the first time, is the way these little words  - words distinguishing the relationship between one thing and another, one person and another - also keep them apart. No matter how close you get, you are still separate, still stuck in your own skin.
p. 267

 ~ Malena Watrous, If You Follow Me

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