“In the end, I wanted to wake up sea foam.
I didn’t want these legs anymore that carry me
uselessly from house to house, searching for lost love.
I wore dresses that covered up the pale lengths,
in sea greens and azure blues, wove seashells into hair
and sang on a rock. None of it did any good.
Once, I would have died for you. I changed, I did,
and all just for one kiss, one touch, should it have burned
so much? I miss cool scales, the constant wet embrace,
the skittering tips of tsunami. While you
were out catching fish, with your tangled nets,
I was watching you, wishing for a different body, one to
It never did me any good. So I will wait for the ocean’s promise:
that once again I will end up on this beach, disintegrate,
spatter away into the essences of salt, sand, earth.
A waste of skin and scale, but at least once again
I will be part of the dance, the maternal water
carrying me home.”—Jeannine Hall Gailey, "The Little Mermaid Has No Regrets," from She Returns to the Floating World (via elucipher)
“A stone or two, which it had dislodged in its descent, rattled behind it into to profundities of the glen; and then silence, like night, resumed its sway; and they might bend their hearing to its utmost pitch, but naught was to be heard except the rain, now marching to the wind, now steadily falling over miles of open country.”— The Body-Snatcher, by Robert Louis Stevenson, taken from Horror Stories, edited by Darryl Jones. (via oupacademic)
“Writers are outsiders, and usually not by their own choosing. It’s why they’re writers. If they didn’t feel alienated from human experience, they wouldn’t feel so drawn to writing to make sense of their lives. It’s not the outsider’s facility for language that makes her a writer — many a student body president or homecoming queen can turn a phrase — but her ability to howl at the moon, on the page.”—
A place boxed off sometimes under a stair case, or in any situation where the dust will not affect the press room, or other departments of the business — in which the wool is carded wherewith to make the balls.
The wool is kept in the box, over which two pieces of wood are stretched across and fastened down, lowest in the front; on these one of the cards is fixed. In the act of carding the wool the dust and refuse fall into the box, and are thus prevented from being trampled about.
Wool Hole. The workhouse. When a compositor or pressman is reduced by age or illness to take refuge in the workhouse, it is said he is in the Wool Hole.
Madness and witchery as well as bestiality are conditions commonly associated with the use of the female voice in public, in ancient as well as modern contexts. Consider how many female celebrities of classical mythology, literature and cult make themselves objectionable by the way they use their voice.
For example, there is the heart-chilling groan of the Gorgon, whose name is derived from a Sanskrit word, *garg meaning “a guttural animal howl that issues as a great wind from the back of the throat through a hugely distended mouth”. There are the Furies whose high-pitched and horrendous voices are compared by Aiskhylos to howling dogs or sounds of people being tortured in hell (Eumenides). There is the deadly voice of the Sirens and the dangerous ventriloquism of Helen (Odyssey) and the incredible babbling of Kassandra (Aiskhylos, Agamemnon) and the fearsome hullabaloo of Artemis as she charges through the woods (Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite). There is the seductive discourse of Aphrodite which is so concrete an aspect of her power that she can wear it on her belt as a physical object or lend it to other women (Iliad). There is the old woman of Eleusinian legend Iambe who shrieks obscenities and throws her skirt up over her head to expose her genitalia. There is the haunting garrulity of the nymph Echo (daughter of Iambe in Athenian legend) who is described by Sophokles as “the girl with no door on her mouth” (Philoktetes).
Putting a door on the female mouth has been an important project of patriarchal culture from antiquity to the present day. Its chief tactic is an ideological association of female sound with monstrosity, disorder and death.
“The story of Cassandra, the woman who told the truth but was not believed, is not nearly as embedded in our culture as that of the Boy Who Cried Wolf—that is, the boy who was believed the first few times he told the same lie. Perhaps it should be.”—In her cover essay on silencing women in the October 2014 issue of Harper’s, Rebecca Solnit once again proves that she is one of our era’s greatest essayist – further evidence here and here. (via explore-blog)
“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”—Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (via bookmania)
“Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in… in this world we actually live in, distance ceases to be distance and to be blue when we arrive in it.”—Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (via larmoyante)
“The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.”—