Saturday, May 14, 2011
Anaïs Nin - 1903–1977
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
"I only believe in fire. Life. Fire. Being myself on fire I set others on fire. Never death. Fire and life. Les Jeux."
"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it."
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
"I looked with chameleon eyes upon the changing face of the world, looked with anonymous vision upon my uncompleted self."
"It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before... to test yout limits... to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
"No life, no history, no human being, no event is without meaning. But it takes a certain training to penetrate the surface and we mistake superficiality for realism."
"The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy."
"Action without meaning becomes animal. The dream without action is equally destructive."
"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living."
"Permit yourself to flow and overflow. Allow for the rise in temperature and all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess."
"Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them."
"The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him, and that is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force which ever oppressed people and their literature: it created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, sterility."
"The important thing is to set the passions free."
"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. I have no fear of clarity."
"I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals."
"Three or four threads may be agitated, like telegraph wires, at the same time, and if I were to tap them all I would reveal such a mixture of innocence and duplicity, generosity and calculation, fear and courage, I cannot tell the whole truth simply because I would have to write four journals at once."
"Every difficult situation into which you are sometimes thrown has some kind of opening somewhere, even if it is only by way of the dream."
"I cannot live without seeing him. It is a hunger, an unbearable hunger. I rushed to him today. It is like touching fire. He makes me terribly happy."
"...she lived now with all herself, this body so long ignored. She burned at last completely and living was revealed to her in a thousand ways. She melted into the world, into dreams, into flesh, into moist desires. Before she gave only the cold radiation of her thought-now she gave her burning flesh. She was woman."
"And to walk into chaos with a passion for crystallization does not imply to dispel the chaos. It means to discover more and more chaos, to descend further, to discover one cave underneath another, to become aware of the impossibility to seize."
"The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest."
"Stories do not end."
"To think of him in the middle of the day lifts me out of ordinary living."
"I am like a winged creature who is too rarely allowed to use its wings. Ecstasies do not occur often enough."
"For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark -- my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become an exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking -- passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still... only a Woman!"
"All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished."
"Coming near him like a ballet dancer she took a leap towards him, and he, frightened by her vehemence, and fearing that she would crash against him, instinctively became absolutely rigid, and she felt herself embracing a statue."
"For you and for me the highest moment, the keenest joy, is not when our minds dominate but when we lose our minds, and you and I both lose it in the same way, through love."
"Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy."
"The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."
"In the infinite there is no impasse."
"Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions."