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'It felt like all my badly nursed wounds were laid in the open for the world to see. I felt a certain level of vulnerability and a deep craving for mercy from strangers who seemed to struggle seeing my pain as relevant.'
'I was chewing under my fingernails. Not biting them off, just picking under them with my teeth, and I was wondering if I was going to have a mini breakdown.'
'I sit in guilt and shame for knowing better and not acting, embarrassment that these moments I could have changed weigh so heavily upon me.'
'“Unprecedented times” is like a chant, a hymn of platitudes uttered to calm the soul, or a lie bleached beyond purity till we can’t tell its origins.'
'Gingerly, I unclasp the diary and open to the first page. It’s titled: 2nd February 2003. And underneath: Today I had death by chocolate cake.'
'In navigating and surviving dating-app-dates (D.A.D.’s for short), it is entirely vital to have some sort of escape system – although not necessarily one this elaborate...'
"Writers are seekers. We seek out images, new thoughts, adventure, and tales to tell. We look for meaning in all that we see, hear and feel. Gatherers are both seekers and finders."
'If I sound cold, it is because I am. The minute I understood my trauma had currency, you stopped being my mother and started being material. This icy attitude is how I survived.'
'Since we’d left, and during any this visit ‘back home’, I would hear about things like this. It painted the picture of how we needed to be grateful for where we lived now, but also so careful. We didn’t know how quickly things might turn, again.'
'...I have notebooks and diaries dating back to several years crammed with such first drafts. Often these drafts are barely legible. But they’re there, at no risk of being wiped out by a virus. The flow of ink on paper is still an unmatched sensation.'
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