John Roman


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Stored Up Like Inheritance

“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

- Rainer Maria Rilke, selection from Letters to a Young Poet

Permalink | 1 note Untiled (Ben, Under the Hadley Parabolic Bridge)
Permalink | 6 notes Untitled (Billy, Trees in the Hudson)
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My Old Story

“Unfortunately I am afraid, as always, of going on. For to go on means going from here, means finding me, losing me, vanishing and beginning again, a stranger first, then little by little the same as always, in another place, where I shall say I have always been, of which I shall know nothing, being incapable of seeing, moving, thinking, speaking, but of which little by little, in spite of these handicaps, I shall begin to know something, just enough for it to turn out to be the same place as always, the same which seems made for me and does not want me, which I seem to want and do not want, take your choice, which spews me out or swallows me up, I’ll never know, which is perhaps merely the inside of my distant skull where once I wandered, now am fixed, lost for tininess, or straining against the walls, with my head, my hands, my feet, my back, and ever murmuring my old stories, my old story, as if it were the first time.”

- Samuel Beckett, selection from The Unnamable

Permalink | 5 notes Untitled (Ben + Creek Beers)
Permalink | 9 notes Untitled (Ben, Wading In a Creek)
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Until I Am Thirty

"Do you know I’ve been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn’t believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man’s disillusionment — still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I’ve not emptied it, and turn away — where I don’t know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything — every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I’ve asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t, that is until I am thirty."

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, selection from The Brothers Karamazov

Permalink | 7 notes Untitled (Ben Levy + Women)
Permalink | 6 notes Untitled (Anne & Jade, In Denims)
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Reinventing the Relation

"You go away, and I seem not to exist for you. I don’t understand. I don’t know what you want, or what I am! You write to me like a lover, you treat me like a casual acquaintance! Casual acquaintance, no; but a friend, yes. I’ve always told you I foresaw that solution, and accepted it in advance. But a certain consistence of affection is a fundamental part of friendship. One must know what to hold on to. And just as I think we have reached that stage, you revert abruptly to the other relation, and assume that I have noticed no change in you, and that I have not suffered or wondered at it, but have carried on my life in serene insensibility until you chose to enter again suddenly into it. I have borne all these inconsistencies and incoherences as long as I could, because I love you so much, and because I am so sorry for things in your life that are difficult and wearing—but I have never been capricious or exacting, I have never, I think, added to those difficulties, but have tried to lighten them for you by a frank and faithful friendship. Only now a sense of my worth, and a sense also that I can bear no more, makes me write this to you.”

- Edith Wharton, from a letter to Morton Fullerton

Permalink | 18 notes Untitled (Dropping Brendan Off)
Permalink | 7 notes Untitled (Jake, On Bobby’s Roof)
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Love Is Masochistic

"Love is masochistic. These cries and complaints, these sweet alarms. This anguished state of lovers, this suspense, this latent pain that is just below the surface, almost unexpressed, these thousand & one anxieties over the loved one’s absence, this feeling of time rushing by, this touchiness, these fits of temper, these long daydreams, this childish fickleness of behavior, this moral torture where vanity and self-esteem, or perhaps honor, upbringing and modesty are at stake, these highs and lows in the nervous tone, these leaps of imagination, this fetishism, this cruel precision of senses, whipping and probing, the collapse, the prostration, the abdication, the self-abasement, the perpetual loss and recovery of one’s personality, these stammered words and phrases, these pet-names, this intimacy, these hesitations in physical contact, these epileptic tremors, these successive and even more frequent relapses, this more and more turbulent and stormy passion with its ravages progressing to the point of complete inhibition and annihilation of the soul, the debility of the senses, the exhaustion of the marrow, the erasure of the brain and even the desiccation of the heart, this yearning for ruin, for destruction, for mutilation, this need of effusiveness, of adoration, of mysticism, this insatiability which expresses itself in hyper-irritability of the of mucus membranes, in errant taste, in vasomotor or peripheral disorders, and which conjures up jealousy and vengeance, crimes, prevarications and treacheries, this idolatry, this incurable melancholy, this apathy, this profound moral misery, this definitive and harrowing doubt, this despair—are not all these stigmata the very symptoms of love in which we can first diagnose, then trace with a sure hand, the clinical curve of masochism?”

- Blaise Cendrars, selection from Moravagine

Permalink | 10 notes Untitled (Merchandise @ Home Sweet Home)
Permalink | 22 notes Untitled (The Ukiah Drag @ Home Sweet Home)