"The posts on Stump the Bookseller are far more utilitarian than they are sentimental, but reading them, which I now do for hours every week, routinely brings tears to my eyes. Each one forces an overwhelming rediscovery of just how real other people are, a confrontation with the fact that everyone’s mind is cluttered with images that are incidental, almost always partly lost, affecting in ways that are subtle, unpredictable and impossible to explain. How can you not marvel at a person who has thought of a kitten carved from soap repeatedly and with agony for years? Or someone who has spent her whole life wondering why a fictional princess, encountered decades earlier, so hated being made to embroider? It’s enough to make you feel as though every obscure thing you’ve ever forgotten is still with you somehow, waiting to be recovered and maybe even shared."-Alice Gregory, "Letter of Recommendation: Stump the Bookseller"
"Sometimes I'm ... walking along the street and a shaft of sunlight falls in a certain way across the pavement and I just wanna cry. And then a second later, it's over. I decide because I'm an adult, to not succumb to the momentary melancholy; And I thought that sometimes with Tony, she just had a moment like that. A moment of not knowing how or why, and she just let herself go into it and there was nothing anyone could do to make it any better. It was just her and the fact of being alive, colliding."-Margot, Take This Waltz (Sarah Polley)
"...and he prayed fundamentally as a gesture of love for what had gone and would go and could be loved in no other way. When he prayed he touched his parents, who could not otherwise be touched, and he touched a feeling that we are all children who lose our parents, all of us, every man and woman and boy and girl, and we too will all be lost by those who come after us and love us, and thus loss unites humanity, unites every human being, the temporary nature of our beingness, and our shared sorrow, the heartache we carry and yet too often refuse to acknowledge in one another, and out of this Saeed felt it might be possible, in the face of death, to believe in humanity's potential for building a better world, and so he prayed as a lament, as a consolation, and as a hope..."
-Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
And I was alive in the blizzard of the blossoming pear,
Myself I stood in the storm of the bird–cherry tree.
It was all leaflife and starshower, unerring, self–shattering
And it was all aimed at me.
What is this dire delight flowering fleeing always earth?
What is being? What is truth?
Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,
All hover and hammer,
Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.
It is now. It is not.
- Osip Mandelstam (translation by Christian Wiman)