Hope is a terrible thing, she said. Is it? Yes, it keep you living in another place, a place which doesn't exist. For some people it's better than where they are. For many it's a relief. From life, she said. A relief from life? Is that living? Some people don't have a choice. No and that's awful for them. Hope is better than misery, he said. Or despair. Hope belongs in the same box as despair. Hope is not so bad, he said. At least despair has truth to it.
He had made his decision. Later in life Ann would learn that when certain men made decisions no matter how much it might torture them afterwards they would stick with their decision. Men, she learned, would rather suffer than change their minds or their habits. They could develop elaborate systems for containing pain, sometimes so successful they would remain completely unaware of the vastness of the pain they possessed.
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Did people ever stop changing? They surprised you with fresh pain. Sometimes they surprised you with happiness, but the pain was the sharper surprise. There was no way to protect yourself from it. People could always change and always hurt you. Of course it went in the other direction too, you could hurt them when you didn't intend it and that too was out of your control.
The word dysfunction has, I think, served its purpose and now has lost its meaning. Every family, like every person, is imperfect, after all. The idea that there is a family somewhere who functions, is an odd concept. In my youth I was running from my family to try to find out who I was-their influence distracted me. Now I see what a powerful hold they have, no matter what.
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After she was gone there would be no one who knew the whole of her life. She did not even know the whole of it! Perhaps she should have written some of it down...but really what would have been the point in that? Everything passed, she would too. This perspective offered her an unexpected clarity she nearly enjoyed, but even with this new clarity the world offered no more explanation for itself than it ever had.
[The director's idea for the film was:] A young American or English girl goes to Tuscany to visit English expatriates. She is on a mission to lose her virginity. That's a mission easily accomplished, if that's the only mission. The story had to be more complicated than that. Because there is so little happening dramatically, there had to be something to keep you curious.
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After the briskness of loving, loving stops. And you roll over with death stretched out alongside you like a feather boa, or a snake, light as air, and you... you don't even ask for anything or try to say something to him because it's obviously your own damn fault. You haven't been able to- to what? To open your heart. You open your legs but can't, or don't dare anymore, to open your heart.
When I travel, I always take my Winsor & Newton watercolor kit, which is the size of a pack of cigarettes when folded up. I bought my first one in the 1980s. It was handy to bring on trips, and I packed it into a leather pouch along with a couple of brushes, a pencil, an eraser and paper.
I remember when I was in graduate school and someone in workshop would say, 'I'm going to bring in a chapter of my novel.' The thought that someone could think they'd write a whole long thing... I could only see twelve pages ahead. But then I realized that if you could see twelve more after that, you can start.