When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a color, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain all.”
How did this compilation happen?
I’ve been making these zines for a pretty long time. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve really enjoyed the creative process. I don’t really remember when exactly, maybe like eight years ago, someone told me there was this one guy who kept wanting to buy the zines I had been making and giving to people. Then I started hearing from lots of different people that there was one person trying to collate them all together and release them all in one collection.”
One of the things I love about our group’s conversations is how much I’ve been learning. Because even though I’m mixed race, it doesn’t mean that I was born knowing everything about race and racism. I just sort of have a lot of nebulous feelings that are hard to put into words — but listening to and engaging with other invested people helps with that, a lot. I feel like the Speakeasy is a place where it’s okay to put things out there and learn together. My hope for this book club is that we’ll be able to carry some of that over here, because I love this queer community and I want us all to do better and be better. Especially on race.”
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rilke
I suppose my depression is a form of vanity.”
Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.”
— Jessamyn West (via tonyawrites)
We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.”
— Jessamyn West (via larmoyante)
From what point of view is she looking at life as she sits there, terribly sensitive, registering one after another such diverse impressions? She is a writer; a born writer. Everything she feels and hears and sees is not fragmentary and separate; it belongs together as writing.”
I asked Yuri, “How do I do this? How do I live a political life with motherhood?” I was exhausted, but Yuri made it seem so easy.
“This,” she said, gesturing to my daughter in her lap, “is what you do. You just take your daughter everywhere, like I did with my kids – protests, rallies, long late-night planning meetings. We take our children with us and they grow up to be good people, people who care about the community. And she will learn what kind of woman her mother is by watching you work in the movement.”