“You know what it is to open up a cottage. You barge in with your box of groceries and your duffelbag full of books. You drop them on a counter and rush to the far window to look out. I would say that coming into a cottage is like being born, except we do not come into the world with a box of groceries and a duffelbag full of books—unless you want to take these as metonymic symbols for culture. Opening up a summer cottage is like being born in this way: at the moment you enter, you have all the time you are ever going to have.” -Annie Dillard
Ives prays before breakfast in the porch and he asks that we hold hands. He says "Jesus in name, thank you for the good food that mumma made, amen" and we let go of hands and I lift my coffee and Thom points at Ives with his first finger and says "I love you" and Ives snaps at the finger with his mouth aiming to bite it, teeth hitting teeth and Thom pulls his finger back but not his sentiment of love. We spread jam on our toast and drink our coffee and peal our hardboiled eggs and the shells make small music on the plates. "What is it that love dares the self to do?"
"There grew between him and Ella a conspiracy of experience, as if the raising of children, the industry of supporting each other in ways practical and tender, and the sum of years and then decades of private conversations and small intimacies - the odour of each other on waking; the trembling sound of each other's breathing when a child was unwell; the illnesses, the griefs and cares, the tendernesses, unexpected and unbidden - as if all this were somehow more binding, more important and more undeniable than love, whatever love was. For he was bound to Ella."
- Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
"Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human." -Susan Sontag
"In every important way, we are such secrets from each other. " - M. Robinson
They both have snotty noses. I wipe them with the sleeve of my shirt. Ives takes small bites of a grape and juice is on his chin and he pulls bits from his mouth with his fingers and pushes them into Gilbert's mouth. Grape flesh. Gilbert smiles and his cheeks fill with the fruit and his cheeks are fat balls. Ives is in his pyjamas. When I kiss him and then his brother their skin under my lips is different. They smell different. Nabokov says Lolita is "biscuity" smelling. That word comes to my mind when I kiss Gilbert. Flour and cream and salt.
I keep thinking of Ives feeding Gilbert regurgitated grapes. The ceremony of it. Like a story I heard about Leonard Cohen trying to revive a baby bird who fell from its nest. Like the eucharist. Ives says "Sometimes I feed Gilbert." He says "I love feeding Gilbert." They both have sticky faces.
"A house must please everyone. Unlike a work of art which doesn't have to please. Art is the artist's private matter. This is not the case for houses. Art is born without being felt. Houses, on the other hand fulfill a need. People seek to maintain their comfort. They hate whatever wretches them from their certitudes, whichever bothers them. This is why they love their houses and hate art."
- Adolf Loos