Here is a quote from a favorite woman writer (I have so many!) Anais Nin on keeping her famous diaries. I find the words so inspiring, the “echoes and reverberations” transform and enchant me.
This diary is my kief, hashish, and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice. Instead of writing a novel, I lie back with this book and a pen, and dream, and indulge in refractions and defractions… I must relive my life in the dream. The dream is my only life. I see in the echoes and reverberations, the tranfigurations which alone keep wonder pure. Otherwise all magic is lost. Otherwise life show its deformities and the homeliness becomes rust… All matter must be fused this way through the lens of my vise or the rust of living would slow down my rhythm to a sob.
“And there we were, my sister Moydia and I, Madame. Moydia was fifteen and I was seventeen and we were young all over. Moydia has a thin thin skin, so that I sit and look at her and wonder how she has opinions. She is all white except the cheekbones, then rosy red; her teeth are milk-teeth and she has a small figure, very pretty and droll. She wanted to become ‘tragique‘ and ‘triste‘ and ‘tremendous’ all at once, like the great period French-women, only fiercer and perhaps less pure, and yet to die and give up the heart like a virgin. It was a noble, an impossible ambition, n’est-ce pas, Madame? But that was the way it was with Moydia. We used to sit in the sun when we were in Norway and read Goethe and did not agree with him at all. ‘The man is pompeaux and too assure,’ she would say, shutting her teeth, ‘and very much too facile.’ But then, people say we do not know.
~excerpt from The Grande Malade, a short story by Djuna Barnes
I love the words “we were young all over” in the second sentence.
Author Henry James, a favorite here in the disenchanted twilight was born on this day, April 15, 1843. Some of his works include, Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller, The Embassadors, and by far one of my favorites in literature, The Wings of the Dove, my muse for Pale Girls.
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – Henry James