I write to understand what has happened to me, what life has done to me.
After a catastrophic loss, you're never safe again.
Months later, I still think about Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road, how Frank and April thought they could escape the hopelessness, the meaninglessness. It is that striving for escape that makes them so human, and the failure is the tragedy. The whole thing is a tragedy.
I think about my father's hair, how it's gone forever.
I can't help but wonder how life would be with him.
I don't care about the years that pass, grief is indestructible.
You are the pain in my heart, unstoppable.
I cry because of grief. I cry because of love, knowing a person can be lost and never seen again.
My life is fear--a deep fear of death, a deeper fear of life.
Write the void. Writing becomes a void: evidence of nothingness, of the unspeakable.
Life is too long and too short. The pain lasts too long; the joy is too brief.
Writing--an ache on the page.
In Boyhood, Patricia Arquette's character says of life, "I just thought there would be more." I can't stop thinking about this one line. I feel it so deeply.
You come from life. You are life. You are death, too.
What I know cannot be written. What I write cannot be known.
My journals are a record of grief.
There is no form for this heartbreak.
This is what books are about: in the middle of the night, going towards something. This is writing, too--going towards something.
I never say good-bye to people when I leave a room. I don't think anyone will miss me.
The endlessness of life scares me, how we just keep getting through each day and the years pass and we have nothing to show for them. I always come back to the dream Clarissa has in Mrs. Dalloway where she is holding her life in her hands and showing it to her dead parents, showing them what she's made of it. What am I making of my life?
The hardest truth: You can't have any of it back. The past is gone forever and, one day, you will lose this moment, too.
I've started watching Claude Lanzmann's Shoah. It's unwriteable. You see the ruins of the death camps and hear survivors tell their stories of screams and shootings and loss and it's devastating. Why do I watch it? Because the damage we do to one another has to be spoken, exposed, and confronted, because the only real recourse the victim has is their testimony, to point and say "You did this to me here and this is what happened." I think that matters so much. I think it's one of the most important things we do: bear witness to our lives, name our suffering, and identify the person or system that wounded us.