Faith is only a word, embroidered.
If I thought this would never happen again I would die. But this is wrong, nobody dies from lack of sex. It's lack of love we die from.
On these occasions I read quickly, voraciously, almost skimming, trying to get as much into my head as possible before the next long starvation. If it were eating it would be gluttony of the famished; if it were sex it would be a swift furtive stand-up in an alley somewhere.
They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying of too much choice.
Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a word, embroidered.
If you worked out enough, maybe the man would too. Maybe you would be able to work it out together, as if the two of you were a puzzle that could be solved; otherwise, one of you, most likely the man, taking his addictive body with him and leaving you with bad withdrawal, which you could counteract by exercise. If you didn't work it out it was because one of you had the wrong attitude.
One and one and one and one doesn't equal four. Each one remains unique, there is no way of joining them together. They cannot be exchanged, one for the other. They cannot replace each other.
He stops, looks up at this window, and I can see the white oblong of his face. We look at each other. I have no rose to toss, he has no lute. But it's the same kind of hunger.
Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.
Here and there are worms, evidence of the fertility of the soil, caught by the sun, half dead; flexible and pink, like lips.
It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.
Perhaps he's reached that state of intoxication which power is said to inspire, the state in which you believe you are indispensable and can therefore do anything, absolutely anything you feel like, anything at all.
Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?
His mouth is on me, his hands, I can't wait and he's moving, already, love, it's been so long, I'm alive in my skin, again, arms around him, falling and water softly everywhere, never-ending.
It was like being in an elevator cut loose at the top. Falling, falling, and not knowing when you will hit.
That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before.
We are a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.
How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.
It's his word against the Commander's, unless he wants to head a posse. Kick in the door, and what did I tell you? Caught in the act, sinfully Scrabbling. Quick, eat those words.
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
We lived, as usual by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
I am in a room where things once happened and now nothing does, except for the pollen of the weeds that grow up outside the window, blowing in as dust across the floor.
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
The bell that measures time is ringing
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
I am not your justification for existence.
I've learned to do without a lot of things. If you have a lot of things, said Aunt Lydia, you get too attached to this material world and you forget about spiritual values.
The body is so easily damaged, so easily disposed of, water and chemicals is all it is, hardly more to it than a jellyfish drying on sand.
We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?
I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.
Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you.
The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil
We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?
I feel like cotton candy: sugar and air. Squeeze me and I'd turn into a small sickly damp wad of weeping pinky-red.
Moira was like an elevator with open sides. She made us dizzy.
The sitting room is subdued, symmetrical; it's one of the shapes money takes when it freezes.
We've learned to see the world in gasps.
I marvel again at the nakedness of men's lives: the showers right out in the open, the body exposed for inspection and comparison, the public display of privates. What is it for? What purposes of reassurance does it serve? The flashing of a badge, look, everyone, all is in order, I belong here. Why don't women have to prove to one another that they are women? Some form of unbuttoning, some split-crotch routine, just as casual. A doglike sniffing.
My red skirt is hitched up to my waist, though no higher. Below it the Commander is fucking. What he is fucking is the lower part of my body.
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
I stand on the corner, pretending I am a tree.
Neither of us says the word love, not once. It would be tempting fate; it would be romance, bad luck.
There is something powerful in the whispering of obscenities, about those in power. There's something delightful about it, something naughty, secretive, forbidden, thrilling. It's like a spell, of sorts. It deflates them, reduces them to the common denominator where they can be dealt.
You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will.
Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it's heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket.
More Margaret Atwood Quotations (Based on Topics)
Love - Man - Woman - Time - Mind - Power - Nature - Body - Education - God - Water - Future - Life - War & Peace - Death & Dying - Faces - People - Light - Thought & Thinking - View All Margaret Atwood Quotations
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