Tuesday, July 8, 2008

spend my days

gypsy with an accordian boarding train in berlin

i could spend whole days riding the subway with a book in my lap. even better--riding the train above ground through brooklyn or queens, so the subway cars are flooded with light, and you can feel the trees breezing past while you leaf through pages of an enrapturing book.

a reading discovery:

"then what are you going to do? you're not worried?"
"no. i expected it. i'm waiting."
"for what?"
"my kind of people."
"what kind is that?"
"i don't know. yes, i do know, but i can't explain it. i've often wished i could. there must be some one principle to cover it, but i don't know what it is."

- the fountainhead

i know this next passage is long, but i couldn't help but post it--it's so great.

dominique had spent so many summers and winters, surrounding herself with people in order to feel alone, that the experiment of actual solitude was an echantment to her and a betrayal into a weakness she had never allowed herself: the weakness of enjoying it. she stretched her arms and let them drop lazily, feeling a sweet, drowsy heaviness above her elbows, as after a first drink. she was conscious of her summer dresses, she felt her knees, her thighs encountering the faint resistance of cloth when she moved, and it made her conscious not of the cloth, but of her knees and thighs.

the house stood alone amidst vast grounds, and the woods stretched beyond; there were no neighbors for miles. she rode on horseback down long, deserted roads, down hidden paths leading nowhere. leaves glittered in the sun and twigs snapped in the wind of her flying passage. she caught her breath at times from the sudden feeling that something magnificent and deadly would meet her beyond the next turn of the road; she could give no identity to what she expected, she could not say whether it was a sight, a person or an event; she knew only its quality--the sensation of a defiling pleasure.

sometimes she started on foot from the house and walked for miles, setting herself no goal and no hour of return. cars passed her on the road; the people of the quarry town knew her and bowed to her; she was considered the chatelaine of the countryside, as her mother had been long ago. she turned off the road into the woods and walked on, her arms swinging loosely, her head thrown back, watching the tree tops. she saw clouds swimming behind the leaves; it looks as if a giant tree before her were moving, slanting, ready to fall and crush her; she stopped; she waited, her head thrown back, her throat pulled tight; she felt as if she wanted to be crushed. then she shrugged and went on. she flung thick branches impatiently out of her way and let them scratch her bare arms. she walked on long after she was exhausted, she drove herself forward against the weariness of her muscles. then she fell down on her back and lay still, her arms and legs flung out like a cross on the ground, breathing in release, feeling empty and flattened, feeling the weight of the air like a pressure against her breasts.

- the fountainhead

1 comment:

mini said...

i'm reading this as well!
i've been on page 128 for days now. i need to finish this book