‘… reading is the most private and intimate of acts, except, possibly, for love-making.’ – JW

‘Reading, unlike movies and theatre or dance or even looking at pictures in a gallery, is a one to one experience. It is a whispered conversation. The book and the reader are bound together far more closely than the reader and the writer can ever be. The writer hardly matters. The book matters very much. And yet, and yet, we still seek out the reader-writer experience, the living forms that embody the whispered conversation.

… I am saying no to everything. I long for emptiness and silence. And I am so tired that I dream about sleeping when I am asleep. We aren’t living in a quiet time. We aren’t going to lie easy in our beds. I would like to be a hermit, but I can’t be.

Finding time for those you love, spending time with them, consciously loving them, finding time for books and quiet, yes these things matter. It is easier to be a power mogul than it is to play delightedly with a small child.

Sanity is found in so many inconsequential things, the small and sustaining pleasures of life, like kids and dogs and a walk and a steaming cup of coffee in the back yard, and a poem you want to learn, and picking up twigs for the fire, and spending all day cooking for your friends, and letting your mind play and swim and leap and jump, instead of forcing it endlessly down the same routes. Peace is not optional, and I wonder if we find world peace so difficult because our own peace is so hard to find?

So I am sitting here with a pulled muscle… I am furious and have to give in. My body is not stupid, but I am. I promise myself that by the weekend everything will be put aside, and when you make those promises to yourself, you have to keep them…’

http://www.jeanettewinterson.com

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