amour propre
There would be the occasional real poem, and he would catch his breath. Nothing else could drop him through space like that, then catch him; nothing else could peel him open.
Margaret Atwood, from “Isis in Darkness,” Wilderness Tips 
I walk in the world to love it.
Mary Oliver, from Long Life: Essays And Other Writings

Portrait of a Young Woman, 1896- Klimt
"Know thyself" is the entire field of knowledge. Only when the human being has finally attained knowledge of all things will he have known himself. For things are merely the boundaries of the human being.
Friedrich Nietzsche 
Then the feeling moves on. It does not collapse; it is not whisked away. It simply moves on, like a train that stops at a small country station, stands for a while, and then continues out of sight.
Michael Cunningham, from The Hours 
It’s the city that’s killing me. It will kill me suddenly. I’ll be walking along the street, thinking of nothing in particular, and all at once I will turn sideways and dive off the curb, to be smashed by a speeding car. I will topple in front of a subway train without warning, I’ll plunge from a bridge without intention. All I will hear will be that small voice, inviting and conspiratorial, gleeful, urging me over. I know I’m capable of such a thing. (Worse: although I’m afraid of this idea and ashamed of it, and although in the daytime I find it melodramatic and ludicrous and refuse to believe in it, I also cherish it. It’s like the secret bottle stashed away by alcoholics: I may have no desire to use it, right now, but I feel more secure knowing it’s there. It’s a fallback, it’s a vice, it’s an exit. It’s a weapon.)
Margaret Atwood, from Cat’s Eye

Lena C. Emery
Living a love while refusing it is a very strange business.
Simone de Beauvoir, from The Mandarins
When I approach a soul I do not take with me a
desire to become acquainted with it; when I go away
from one, I do.
Antonio Porchia, from Voices
I want you to be free.
Anne Carson, from Autobiography Of Red

Olga Kurylenko
[To the Wonder, reg. Terrence Malick, 2012]


"She understands something, an absence perhaps, and she understands it too well, too fully to express it. Expression is not needed at this point. The absence demands to be felt; and she feels it, I know she does, she feels it all the way through…"

I don’t know if you’re really there; if you’re still you; but I love you.
Rafael Castillo Zapata, Providence
When you seem to be listening to my words, they seem to be your words, with me listening.
Antonio Porchia, from Voices