Anais Nin Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Anais Nin. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
Anaïs Nin
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Anaïs Nin
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anaïs Nin
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Anaïs Nin
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Anaïs Nin
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
Anaïs Nin
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
Anaïs Nin
Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.
Anaïs Nin
The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
Anaïs Nin
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
Anaïs Nin
I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don't know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ''idea of them.
Anaïs Nin
Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
Anaïs Nin
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anaïs Nin
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
Anaïs Nin
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
Anaïs Nin
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
Anaïs Nin
Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.
Anaïs Nin
There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.
Anaïs Nin
The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.
Anaïs Nin
I will always be the virgin-prostitute, the perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.
Anaïs Nin
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
Anaïs Nin
We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.
Anaïs Nin
What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.
Anaïs Nin
Someone told me the delightful story of the crusader who put a chastity belt on his wife and gave the key to his best friend for safekeeping, in case of his death. He had ridden only a few miles away when his friend, riding hard, caught up with him, saying 'You gave me the wrong key!
Anaïs Nin
I write emotional algebra.
Anaïs Nin
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Dreams are necessary to life.
Anaïs Nin
The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.
Anaïs Nin
Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
Anaïs Nin
I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
Anaïs Nin
What I cannot love, I overlook.
Anaïs Nin
Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.
Anaïs Nin
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.
Anaïs Nin
The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I'm thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad.
Erica Jong
I sat there for three hours and did not feel the time or the boredom of our talk and its foolish disconnection. As long as I could hear his voice, I was quite lost, quite blind, quite outside my own self.
Anaïs Nin
I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
Anaïs Nin
In chaos, there is fertility.
Anaïs Nin
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
Anaïs Nin
For you and for me the highest moment, the keenest joy, is not when our minds dominate but when we lose our minds, and you and I both lose it in the same way, through love.
Anaïs Nin (Fire: From A Journal of Love - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1934-1937))
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
Anaïs Nin
I want to make my own discoveries…….penetrate the evil which attracts me
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.
Anaïs Nin
Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
Anaïs Nin
Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.
Anaïs Nin
What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don't say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you.
Anaïs Nin
I have no brakes on...analysis is for those who are paralyzed by life.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
This diary is my kief, hashish and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice.
Anaïs Nin
I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.
Anaïs Nin
Stories do not end.
Anaïs Nin
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Anaïs Nin
Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction.
Anaïs Nin
There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
Anaïs Nin (Journals Of Anais Nin Volume 3)
To hell, to hell with balance! I break glasses; I want to burn, even if I break myself. I want to live only for ecstasy. I’m neurotic, perverted, destructive, fiery, dangerous - lava, inflammable, unrestrained.
Anaïs Nin
I'm sick of my own romanticism!
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
Anaïs Nin
I know why familles were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed.
Anaïs Nin
Good things happen to those who hustle.
Anaïs Nin
My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.
Anaïs Nin
All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.
Anaïs Nin
I'm restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.
Anaïs Nin
There were silences in my head. I could abandon myself completely to the pleasure of multiple relationships, to the beauty of the day, to the joys of the day. It was as if a cancer in me had ceased gnawing me. The cancer of introspection.
Anaïs Nin
When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
Anaïs Nin
Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
Anaïs Nin
The obstacle became his alibi for weakness.
Anaïs Nin
Living never wore one so much as the effort not to live.
Anaïs Nin
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.
Anaïs Nin
Physical experiences, lacking the joys of love, depend on twists and perversions of pleasure. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones.
Anaïs Nin
I feel a little like the moon who took possession of you for a moment and then returned your soul to you. You should not love me. One ought not to love the moon. If you come too near me, I will hurt you.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
His life rushes onward in such torrential rhythm that...only angels and devils can catch the tempo of it.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
I want to hear raucous music, to see faces, to brush against bodies, to drink fiery Benedictine. Beautiful women and handsome men arouse fierce desires in me. I want to dance. I want drugs. I want to know perverse people, to be intimate with them. I never look at naive faces. I want to bite into life, and to be torn by it.
Anaïs Nin
It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.
Anaïs Nin
Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.
Anaïs Nin
How well I know with what burning intensity you live. You have experienced many lives already, including several you have shared with me- full rich lives from birth to death, and you just have to have these rest periods in between.
Anaïs Nin
And in his eyes he had the look of the cat who inspires a desire to caress but loves no one, who never feels he must respond to the impulses he arouses.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
Anaïs Nin (The Journals of Anais Nin)
The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation.
Anaïs Nin (A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, Volume 3)
I had been struck by the analogy between neurosis and romanticism. Romanticism was truly a parallel to neurosis. It demanded of reality an illusory world, love, an absolute which it could never obtain, and thus destroyed itself by the dream.
Anaïs Nin
I see enormous loves growing immense and finally crushing me.
Anaïs Nin
I cheat him, I deceive him, yet the world does not sink in sulphur-colored mists. Madness conquers. I can no longer put my mosaics together. I just cry and laugh.
Anaïs Nin
Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I'm just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, "Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?" Anaïs Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is 'escape.' Just banish that and you'll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you're in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything.... We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one's sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it's what we want to do. You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
Anaïs Nin
This great handsomeness I took into myself later when he desired me, but I took it as one breathes air, or swallows a snowflake, or yields to the sun.
Anaïs Nin (Henry & June)
All that is sacred and taboo in the world are meaningless.
Anaïs Nin
Warmth, perfume, rugs, soft lights, books. They do not appease me. I am aware of time passing, of all the world contains that I have not seen, of all the interesting people I have not met.
Anaïs Nin (A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, Volume 3)
I really believe that if I were not a writer, not a creator, not an experimenter, I might have been a very faithful wife. I think highly of faithfulness. But my temperament belongs to the writer, not to the woman
Anaïs Nin
I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness. She would crush me to ashes without hesitation. She is a personality created to the limit. I worship her courage to hurt, and I am willing to be sacrificed to it. She will add the sum of me to her. She will be June plus all that I contain.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves.
Anaïs Nin
Coming near him like a ballet dancer she took a leap towards him, and he, frightened by her vehemence, and fearing that she would crash against him, instinctively became absolutely rigid, and she felt herself embracing a statue.
Anaïs Nin
The man who was once starved may revenge himself upon the world not by stealing just once, or by stealing only what he needs, but by taking from the world an endless toll in payment of something irreplaceable, which is the lost faith.
Anaïs Nin
One discovers that destiny can be diverted, that one does not have to remain in bondage to the first wax imprint made on childhood sensibilities. Once the deforming mirror has been smashed, there is a possibility of wholeness. There is a possibility of joy.
Anaïs Nin
At first she beckoned and lured one into her world; then, she blurred the passageways, confused all the images, as if to elude detection.
Anaïs Nin (A Spy in the House of Love (Cities of the Interior, #4))
We write to taste life twice," Anais Nin wrote, "in the moment and in retrospection.
Sue Monk Kidd (Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story)
she acquired the certainty of the expansion of time by depth of emotion, range and infinite multiplicity of experience.
Anaïs Nin
You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.
Anaïs Nin
He understands my pity for his ridiculous, humiliating physical necessity.
Anaïs Nin
Don't wait for it," I said. "Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. Create. And then the love will come to you, then it comes to you. It was only when I wrote my first book that the world I wanted to live in opened to me.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage.” - Anais Nin
Mark Manson (Models: Attract Women Through Honesty)
Often, though, the passivity of the woman's role weighs on me, suffocates me. Rather than wait for his pleasure, I would like to take it, to run wild. Is it that which pushes me into lesbianism? It terrifies me. Do women act thus? Does June go to Henry when she wants him? Does she mount him? Does she wait for him? He guides my inexperienced hands. It is like a forest fire, to be with him. New places of my body are aroused and burnt. He is incendiary. I leave him in an unquenchable fever.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
When you trust, you are tender and delicate, but when you doubt, you are dangerous and destructive
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live. Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat. Perfection is static, and I am in full progress. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones. -Anais Nin "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." -Bible-Genesis 3:19 "While I thought that I was learning to live, I have been learning how to die" - Leonardo da Vinci
Anaïs Nin
And sometimes I believe your relentless analysis of June leaves something out, which is your feeling for her beyond knowledge, or in spite of knowledge. I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon. What will you do after you have revealed all there is to know about June? Truth. What ferocity in your quest of it. You destroy and you suffer. In some strange way I am not with you, I am against you. We are destined to hold two truths. I love you and I fight you. And you, the same. We will be stronger for it, each of us, stronger with our love and our hate. When you caricature and nail down and tear apart, I hate you. I want to answer you, not with weak or stupid poetry but with a wonder as strong as your reality. I want to fight your surgical knife with all the occult and magical forces of the world.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Woman’s role in creation should be parallel to her role in life. I don’t mean the good earth. I mean the bad earth too, the demon, the instincts, the storms of nature. Tragedies, conflicts, mysteries are personal. Man fabricated a detachment which became fatal. Woman must not fabricate. She must descend into the real womb and expose its secrets and its labyrinths. She must describe it as the city of Fez, with its Arabian Nights gentleness, tranquility and mystery. She must describe the voracious moods, the desires, the worlds contained in each cell of it. For the womb has dreams. It is not as simple as the good earth. I believe at times that man created art out of fear of exploring woman. I believe woman stuttered about herself out of fear of what she had to say. She covered herself with taboos and veils. Man invented a woman to suit his needs. He disposed of her by identifying her with nature and then paraded his contemptuous domination of nature. But woman is not nature only. She is the mermaid with her fish-tail dipped in the unconscious.
Anaïs Nin
You are that to me, an oasis. You drug me and at the same time you give me strength.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Not afraid of poverty and drabness and who is untouched by it, untouched by the drunkenness of her friends; (she) who judges, selects, discards people with severity, who knows, when she is telling her endless anecdotes, that they are ways of escape, keeping herself all the more secret behind that profuse talk.
Anaïs Nin
The humiliations and defeats, given with a primitive honesty, end not in frustration, despair or futility, but in hunger, an ecstatic devouring hunger—for more life.” - Anais Nin
Anaïs Nin
They courted the face on the screen, the face of translucence, the face of wax on which men found it possible to imprint the image of their fantasy.
Anaïs Nin
1) Work on one thing at a time until finished. 2) Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring." 3) Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. 4) Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! 5) When you can't create you can work. 6) Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. 7) Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. 8) Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only. 9) Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude. 10) Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. 11) Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Henry Miller
I must know, he thinks. It must be clear to me. There is a world which is closed to him, a world of shadings, gradations, nuances, and subtleties. He is a genius and yet he is too explicit. June slips between his fingers. You cannot posses without loving.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
All I wanted was humor and wisdom.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
I gathered poets around me and we all wrote beautiful erotica. As we were condemned to focus only on sensuality, we had violent explosions of poetry. Writing erotica became a road to sainthood rather than to debauchery.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
The same chemicals were used in the cooking as were used on the composition of her own being: only those which caused the most violent reaction, contradiction, and teasing, the refusal to answer questions but the love of putting them, and all the strong spices of human relationship which bore a relation to black pepper, paprika, soybean sauce, ketchup and red peppers.
Anaïs Nin (Ladders to Fire)
I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” ~~Anais Nin
Susan Arden (Collared by the Cowboy (Bad Boys, #6))
I have raged at the wall growing between myself and others. I expect intuitive, miraculous understanding, or else I’m disillusioned and don’t want to struggle to make things clear.
Anaïs Nin
We see things not as they are, but as we are. Because it is the 'I' behind the 'eye' that does the seeing.
Anaïs Nin
Three or four threads may be agitated, like telegraph wires, at the same time, and if I were to tap them all I would reveal such a mixture of innocence and duplicity, generosity and calculation, fear and courage, I cannot tell the whole truth simply because I would have to write four journals at once.
Anaïs Nin (The Journals of Anais Nin)
Pleasure is an attitude, not a person or place.   —Diary 6, pg. 52
Anaïs Nin (The Quotable Anais Nin: 365 Quotations with Citations)
Innocence was gone from all our acts. Our habitual state of rebellion became a serious political crime.
Anaïs Nin (A Spy in the House of Love (Cities of the Interior, #4))
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” —Anais Nin
Timothy Kurek (The Cross in the Closet)
I thought of a high school report I did on the Belgian artist Rene Magritte and a quote I once read from him, something about his favorite walk being the one he took around his own bedroom. He said that he never understood the need for people to travel because all the poetry and perspective you're ever going to get you already posses. Anais Nin had the same idea. We see the world as we are. So if it's the same brain we bring with us every time we open our eyes, what's the difference if we're looking at an island cove or a pocket watch?
Sloane Crosley
But I am not sure what this self is. For the moment I seem to be busy tearing down what I was.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Perhaps I should not tell him the dream. It puts me in his hands, it is giving him too much,
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
His entire body was pleading for reassurance, and if her whole love was not enough what else could she give him to cure his doubt?
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
I would not be concerned with the secrets, the lies, the mysteries, the facts. I would be concerned with what makes them necessary. What fear.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
If a person continues to see only giants, it means he is still looking at the world through the eyes of a child.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
This is not to worry you, Henry, it is just that I can’t keep from saying it, that I am overflowing, desperately in love with you as I never was with anyone.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
So many broken promises, each day an aborted wish, a lost object, a misplaced unread book, cluttering the room like an attic with discarded possessions.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
When you're in my arms, I know you're mine. But your feet are so swift, so swift, they carry you as lightly as wings, I never know where, too fast, too fast away from me.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
She walked in the shadow of Rango with a great feeling of being taken out of herself, of having no knowledge of what was happening to her, merely a pervading sense of flow.
Anaïs Nin
The potion drunk by lovers is prepared by no one but themselves. The potion is the sum of one's whole existence.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
I said, "If there is an explanation of the mystery, it is this: the love between women is a refuge and an escape into harmony and narcissism in place of conflict.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
And it is that which draws me to you, too, for you are the tropics, you have the sun in you, and the softness and the clarity...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Love the great narcotic was the revealer in the alchemist's bottle rendering visible the most untraceable substances. Love the great narcotic was the agent provocateur exposing all the secret selves to daylight.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
myself ... is merely an instrument to connect life and a myth
Anaïs Nin
Yes, it is you, and I am in love with you and I am going to be frank with you, brutally frank, because when you have an equal you can afford to be frank.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a WHOLE, whereas I was made up of multiple selves, of fragments. I know that I was upset as a child to discover that we had only one life. It seems to me that I wanted to compensate for this by multiplying experience. Or perhaps it always seems like this when you follow all your impulses and they take you in different directions. In any case, when I was happy, always at the beginning of a love, euphoric, I felt I was gifted for living many lives fully. It was only when I was in trouble, lost in a maze, stifled by complications and paradoxes that I was haunted or that I spoke of my "madness," but I meant the madness of the poets.
Anaïs Nin
In this instant of danger they realized they were each other's reason for living, and into this instant they threw their whole being.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them.
Anaïs Nin
How do I look to him?" she asked herself. She got up and brought a long mirror towards the window. She stood it on the floor against a chair. Then she sat down in front of it on the rug and, facing it, slowly opened her legs. The sight was enchanting. The skin was flawless, the vulva, roseate and full. She thought it was like the gum plant leaf with its secret milk that the pressure of the finger could bring out, the odorous moisture that came like the moisture of the sea shells. So was Venus born of the sea with this little kernel of salty honey in her, which only caresses could bring out of the hidden recesses of her body.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
No, this was a melting together, a vanishing together into a soft, dark womb of warmth.
Anaïs Nin (Little Birds)
At first I protested and rebelled against poetry. I was about to deny my poetic worlds. I was doing violence to my illusions with analysis, science, and learning Henry’s language, entering Henry’s world. I wanted to destroy by violence and animalism my tenuous fantasies and illusions and my hypersensitivity. A kind of suicide. The ignominy awakened me. Then June came and answered the cravings of my imagination and saved me. Or perhaps she killed me, for now I am started on a course of madness.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
I looked at it [revolver] as if it reminded me of a crime I had committed with an irrepressible smile such as rises sometimes to people’s lips in the face of great catastrophes which are beyond their grasp, the smile that comes at times on certain women’s faces while they are saying they regret the harm they have done. It is the smile of nature quietly and proudly asserting its natural right to kill.
Anaïs Nin
When life becomes too difficult, I turn to my work. I swim into a new region.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
You make me think of Casanova, except that in between the erotic, Casanova was boring, while you, in between eroticism and even because of it, you get profound.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
You don’t know how I marvel at your ability to absorb quickly and then turn about, rain down the spears, nail it, penetrate it, envelop it with your intellect.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
We write to taste life twice" Anais Nin
Angella Ricot
I am losing my great, dissolving, disintegrating pity for others, in which I saw deflected the compassion I wanted for myself. I no longer give compassion, which means I no longer need to receive it.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Hell is a different place for each man, or each man has his own particular hell. My descent into the inferno is a descent into the irrational level of existence, where the instincts and blind emotions are loose, where one lives by pure impulse, pure fantasy, and therefore pure madness. No, that is not the inferno.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Jeanne, I fell asleep among the paintings, where I could sit for many days worshipping your portrait. I fell in love with your portrait, Jeanne, because it will never change. I have such a fear of seeing you grow old, Jeanne, I fell in love with an unchanging you that will never be taken away from me. I was wishing you would die, so that no one could take you away from me, and I would love the painting of you as you would look eternally.
Anaïs Nin
Her elongated eyes did not close as other women's eyes did, but like the eyes of tigers, pumas and leopards, the two lids meeting lazily and slowly; and they seemed slightly sewn together towards the nose, making them narrow, with a lascivious, oblique glance falling from them like the glance of a woman who does not want to see what is being done to her body. All this gave her an air of being made love to, which aroused the Baron as soon as he met her.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Travel is life-changing. That's the promise made by a thousand websites and magazines, by philosophers and writers down the ages. Mark Twain said it was fatal to prejudice, and Thomas Jefferson said it made you wise. Anais Nin observed that "we travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." It's all true. Self-transformation is what I sought and what I found.
Elisabeth Eaves (Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents)
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
I have forgotten my mask and my face was in it. Man
Anaïs Nin (The Diary Of Anais Nin Volume 3 1939-1944)
Beware of being trapped in your own imaginings. You instill sparks in others, you charge them with your illusions, and when they burst forth into illuminations, you are taken in.
Hugh Parker Guiler
Anaïs, I could stay here all night writing you. I see you before me constantly, with your head down and your long lashes lying on your cheeks. And I feel very humble.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
We can build a palace around us if everything is right between us.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
I do not need to be a selfless child, or a woman giving to the point of self-annihilation.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Every lover could be brought to trial as the murderer of his own love. When something hurts you, saddens you, I rush to avoid it, to alter it, to feel as you do, but you turn away with a gesture of impatience and say: "I don't understand
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
It is possible I never learned the names of birds in order to discover the bird of peace, the bird of paradise, the bird of the soul, the bird of desire. It is possible I avoided learning the names of composers and their music the better to close my eyes and listen to the mystery of all music as an ocean. It may be I have not learned dates in history in order to reach the essence of timelessness. It may be I never learned geography the better to map my own routes and discover my own lands. The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.
Anaïs Nin
We're journeying constantly, but there is always a machine and books, and your body is always close to me and the look in your eyes never changes. People are saying we will be miserable, we will regret, but we are happy, we are laughing always, we are singing. We are talking Spanish and French and
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
The living out in excess kills the imagination and the intensity,
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
But love, the great narcotic, was the hothouse in which all the selves burst into their fullest bloom...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Write immediately, yes! But as artist! Write with the task in mind—always trying to say the thing in the best way you can. The how! Not the what!
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
A man is what he does every day,” said Emerson.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
Every word spoken in the past accumulated forms and colors in the self. What flows through the veins besides blood is the distillation of every act committed, the sediment of all the visions, wishes, dreams and experiences. All the past emotions converge to tint the skin and flavor the lips, to regulate the pulse and produce crystals in the eyes.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
No man and woman know what will be born in the darkness of their intermingling; so much besides children, so many invisible births, exchanges of soul and character, blossoming of unknown selves, liberation of hidden treasures, buried fantasies...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
saw him as a saint. His attitude silenced me. From that moment on, if he had been brought back to me dead on a stretcher, I would not have cared. He cannot hurt me any more.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Anaïs Nin noted in her diary: “The same thing which makes Henry indestructible is what makes me indestructible: It is that at the core of us is a writer, not a human being.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
No privacy left. No manners.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
I guess I am disturbed only because so little strains through the meshes and I am thinking in such violent floods.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
I love my mystery, I love the abstract world I live in, the delicate, profound, vague, obscure, voluptuously, wordless sensations I experience.
Anaïs Nin
They had reached a perfect moment of human love. They had created a moment of perfect understanding and accord. This highest moment would now remain as point of comparison to torment them later on when all natural imperfections would disintegrate it.
Anaïs Nin
I was sure the old man knew nothing about the beatitudes, ecstasies, dazzling reverberations of sexual encounters. Cut out the poetry was his message. Clinical sex, deprived of all the warmth of love—the orchestration of all the senses, touch, hearing, sight, palate; all the euphoric accompaniments, back-ground music, moods, atmosphere, variations—forced him to resort to literary aphrodisiacs.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
The fascination exerted by one human being over another is not what he emits of his personality at the present instant of encounter but a summation of his entire being which gives off this powerful drug capturing the fancy and attachment.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
A writer, who was a celebrity in Paris, had entered her shop one day. He was not looking for a hat. He asked if she sold luminous flowers that he had heard about, flowers which shone in the dark. He wanted them, he said, for a woman who shone in the dark. He could swear that when he took her to the theatre and she sat back in the dark loges in her evening dress, her skin was as luminous as the finest of sea shells, with a pale pink glow to it. And he wanted these flowers for her to wear in her hair.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Pure love, pure friendship—these are ideals. These may exist now and then, and they are beautiful things to behold. But they are not goals. They are phenomenal and accidental.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
I’m in love with New York. When you bring your own riches to it, it is like drinking from a Venetian glass. It is beautiful, vital, and magical.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
Watch the conqueror well, watch the man or woman who dominates another: he is not the one who loves. The one who loves is the one who is dominated.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
I am not drunk, and I am not sentimental, and I tell you you are the most wonderful woman in the world.
Henry Miller
The magic beauty of simultaneity, to see the loved one rushing toward you at the same moment you are rushing toward him, the magic power of meeting, exactly at midnight to achieve union, the illusion of one common rhythm achieved by overcoming obstacles, deserting friends, breaking other bonds - all this was soon dissolved by his laziness, by his habit of missing every moment, of never keeping his word, of living perversely in a state of chaos, of swimming more naturally in a sea of failed intentions, broken promises, and aborted wishes
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.   —D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, pg. 20
Anaïs Nin (The Quotable Anais Nin: 365 Quotations with Citations)
A man who dominates is a man who does not love. He has a tremendous animal vitality, a force, which conquers. He conquers, people are subjected by him, but he neither loves nor understands
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Woman brings pain. Woman is evil. There are no exceptions. I tell you, even the angels are liars. What does Proust say? “We lie all our lives, and more especially, only perhaps, to those whom we love.” Open your Proust. I have underlined it for you.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
Now, his hair is white and he no longer understands anyone's need to love, for he has lost everything, not to love, but to his games of love; and when you love as a game, you lose everything, as he lost his home and wife, and now he clings to me, afraid of loss, afraid of solitude.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a whole, whereas I was made of multitude of selves, of fragments.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume One by Anais Nin Summary Study Guide)
The homosexuals wrote as if they were women. The timid ones wrote about orgies. The frigid ones about frenzied fulfill-ments. The most poetic ones indulged in pure bestiality and the purest ones in perversions. We were haunted by the marvelous tales we could not tell. We sat around, imagined this old man, talked of how much we hated him, because he would not allow us to make a fusion of sexuality and feeling, sensuality and emotion.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
The sea-lentils tied to giant serpentine string beans, sea-liquor brine, sea-lyme grass, sea-moss, sea-cucumbers. He never knew the sea had such a lavish garden—sea-plumes, sea-grapes, sea-lungs. […] The sky put on its own evanescent spectacles, a pivoting stage, fugitive curtains, decors for ballets, floating icebergs, unrolled bolts of chiffon, gold and pearl necklaces, marabous of oyster white, scarves of Indian saris, flying feathers, shorn lambs, geometric architecture in snows and cotton. His theater was the clouds, where no spectacle repeated itself.
Anaïs Nin
I am sure you would not understand if I told you my father is delightfully clear and selfish, tender and lying, formal and incurable. He exhausts all the loves given to him. If I did not leave his house at night to warm myself in Rango's burning hands I would die at my task, arid and barren, sapless, while my father monologues about his past, and I yawn yawn yawn...
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
Like the Baron, Mathilde developed a formula for acting out life as a series of roles—that is, by saying to herself in the morning while brushing her blond hair, "Today I want to become this or that person," and then proceeding to be that person. One day she decided she would like to be an elegant representative of a well-known Parisian modiste and go to Peru. All she had to do was to act the role. So she dressed with care, presented herself with extraordinary assurance at the house of the modiste, was engaged to be her representative and given a boat ticket to Lima. Aboard ship, she behaved like a French missionary of elegance. Her innate talent for recognizing good wines, good perfumes, good dressmaking, marked her as a lady of refinement.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
She is bizarre, fantastic, nervous, like someone in a high fever. Her beauty drowned me. As I sat before her, I felt I would do anything she asked of me. Henry suddenly faded. She was color and brilliance and strangeness. By the end of the evening I had extricated myself from her power. She killed my admiration by her talk. Her talk. The enormous ego, false, weak, posturing. She
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anais Nin Volume 1 1931-1934)
Over and over again I sail towards joy, which is never in the room with me, but always near me, across the way, like those rooms full of gayety one sees from the street, or the gayety in the street one sees from a window. Will I ever reach joy? It hides behind the turning merry-go-round of the traveling circus. As soon as I approach it, it is no longer joy. Joy is a foam, an illumination. I am poorer and hungrier for the want of it. When I am in the dance, joy is outside in the elusive garden. When I am in the garden, I hear it exploding from the house. When I am traveling, joy settles like an aurora borealis over the land I leave. When I stand on the shore I see it bloom on the flag of a departing ship. What joy? Have I not possessed it? I want the joy of simple colours, street organs, ribbons, flags, not a joy that takes my breath away and throws me into space alone where no one else can breathe with me, not the joy that comes from a lonely drunkenness. There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light.
Anaïs Nin (Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1939-1947))
Lately, because computer technology has made self-publishing an easier and less expensive venture, I'm getting a lot of review copies of amateur books by writers who would be better advised to hone their craft before committing it to print. The best thing you can do as a beginning writer is to write, write, write - and read, read, read. Concentrating on publication prematurely is a mistake. You don't pick up a violin and expect to play Carnegie Hall within the year - yet somehow people forget that writing also requires technical skills that need to be learned, practiced, honed. If I had a dollar for every person I've met who thought, with no prior experience, they could sit down and write a novel and instantly win awards and make their living as a writer, I'd be a rich woman today. It's unrealistic, and it's also mildly insulting to professional writers who have worked hard to perfect their craft. Of course, then you hear stories about people like J.K. Rowling, who did sit down with no prior experience and write a worldwide best-seller...but such people are as rare as hen's teeth. Every day I work with talented, accomplished writers who have many novels in print and awards to their name and who are ‘still’ struggling to make a living. The thing I often find myself wanting to say to new writers is: Write because you love writing, learn your craft, be patient, and be realistic. Anais Nin said about writing, "It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing."
Terri Windling
Some literary recommendations: James Salter’s erotic masterpiece, A Sport and a Pastime; Anais Nin’s collections of short stories Delta of Venus and Little Birds; the erotic novels Emanuelle by Emanuelle Arsan and Story of O by Pauline Réage; Harold Brodkey’s sexual saga “Innocence”—perhaps the greatest depiction of a session of cunnilingus ever penned; novels by Jerzy Kosinski such as Passion Play and Cockpit; Henry Miller’s Under the Roofs of Paris and Quiet Days in Clichy; My Secret Life by Anonymous and The Pure and the Impure by Colette; Nancy Friday’s anthology of fantasies, Secret Garden (filled with the correspondence of real people’s fantasies); stories from The Mammoth Book of Erotica or one of the many erotic anthologies edited by Susie Bright. For those with a taste for poetry, try Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire or Flesh Unlimited by Guillaume Apollinaire. And for those who like comic books (kinky ones, that is), try the extra-hot works of writer/illustrator Eric Stanton, who specializes in female-domination fantasies.
Ian Kerner (She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman)
They walked in silence through the little streets of Chinatown. Women from all over the world smiled at them from open windows, stood on the doorsteps inviting them in. Some of the rooms were exposed to the street. Only a curtain concealed the beds. One could see couples embracing. There were Syrian women wearing their native costume, Arabian women with jewelry covering their half-naked bodies, Japanese and Chinese women beckoning slyly, big African women squatting in circles, chatting together. One house was filled with French whores wearing short pink chemises and knitting and sewing as if they were at home. They always hailed the passers-by with promises of specialities. The houses were small, dimly lit, dusty, foggy with smoke, filled with dusky voices, the murmurs of drunkards, of lovemaking. The Chinese adorned the setting and made it more confused with screens and curtains, lanterns, burning incense, Buddhas of gold. It was a maze of jewels, paper flowers, silk hangings, and rugs, with women as varied as the designs and colors, inviting men who passed by to sleep with them.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Asking a writer why they like to write {in the theoretical sense of the question} is like asking a person why they breathe. For me, writing is a natural reflex to the beauty, the events, and the people I see around me. As Anais Nin put it, "We write to taste life twice." I live and then I write. The one transfers to the other, for me, in a gentle, necessary way. As prosaic as it sounds, I believe I process by writing. Part of the way I deal with stressful situations, catty people, or great joy or great trials in my own life is by conjuring it onto paper in some way; a journal entry, a blog post, my writing notebook, or my latest story. While I am a fair conversationalist, my real forte is expressing myself in words on paper. If I leave it all chasing round my head like rabbits in a warren, I'm apt to become a bug-bear to live with and my family would not thank me. Some people need counselors. Some people need long, drawn-out phone-calls with a trusted friend. Some people need to go out for a run. I need to get away to a quiet, lonesome corner--preferably on the front steps at gloaming with the North Star trembling against the darkening blue. I need to set my pen fiercely against the page {for at such moments I must be writing--not typing.} and I need to convert the stress or excitement or happiness into something to be shared with another person. The beauty of the relationship between reading and writing is its give-and-take dynamic. For years I gathered and read every book in the near vicinity and absorbed tale upon tale, story upon story, adventures and sagas and dramas and classics. I fed my fancy, my tastes, and my ideas upon good books and thus those aspects of myself grew up to be none too shabby. When I began to employ my fancy, tastes, and ideas in writing my own books, the dawning of a strange and wonderful idea tinged the horizon of thought with blush-rose colors: If I persisted and worked hard and poured myself into the craft, I could create one of those books. One of the heart-books that foster a love of reading and even writing in another person somewhere. I could have a hand in forming another person's mind. A great responsibility and a great privilege that, and one I would love to be a party to. Books can change a person. I am a firm believer in that. I cannot tell you how many sentiments or noble ideas or parts of my own personality are woven from threads of things I've read over the years. I hoard quotations and shadows of quotations and general impressions of books like a tzar of Russia hoards his icy treasures. They make up a large part of who I am. I think it's worth saying again: books can change a person. For better or for worse. As a writer it's my two-edged gift to be able to slay or heal where I will. It's my responsibility to wield that weapon aright and do only good with my words. Or only purposeful cutting. I am not set against the surgeon's method of butchery--the nicking of a person's spirit, the rubbing in of a salty, stinging salve, and the ultimate healing-over of that wound that makes for a healthier person in the end. It's the bitter herbs that heal the best, so now and again you might be called upon to write something with more cayenne than honey about it. But the end must be good. We cannot let the Light fade from our words.
Rachel Heffington