“…for me you are the only real poet of the sea, whereas you claim that it is only the ship itself you wanted to exalt… I don’t think you ever took my obsession with the sea seriously…in fact, because of my birth, childhood, and ancient insular atavism on a small Caribbean island, the sea is to me something absolutely basic, mingled with my very blood; and without my noticing, it has spread to every part of my being.
…one cannot stray far from the sea except by straying from oneself.”
Saint-Leger Leger, in a letter to Joseph Conrad, February 1921
For a peaceful Christmas…
Originally posted December 20, 2010
“The calla lilies are in bloom again.
Such a strange flower…”
– Kate Hepburn, Stage Door
In memory of P.J.S. on her fifty-ninth birthday.
open, to Spring
“The way to get there is the all-important, all-absorbing problem… Your only guide, too, is your sureness about your subject…you work all your life to find your way, through all the obstructions and the false appearances and the upsets you may have brought on yourself, to reach a meaning—using inventions of your imagination, perhaps helped out by your dreams and bits of good luck. And finally…you have to assume that what you are working in aid of is life, not death.
But you would make the trip anyway—wouldn’t you?—just on hope.”
— Eudora Welty in 1974, from The Eye of the Story
“People who cannot escape thinking of themselves as white are poorly equipped, if equipped at all, to consider the meaning of black: people who know so little about themselves can face very little in another: and one dare hope for nothing from friends like these.” — James Baldwin, The Devil Finds Work