March 18, 2020

Bernadette Mayer Quote


Something shifts and as Wittgenstein would say, and anybody else not normal, to take some pleasure in being obsessively careful, to quietly comb out the baby’s hair and take one’s time, to decorate the children with ribbons and whisper to them, to prepare special foods, secret inducements, to linger conversing about the dreams in bed, to encourage the counting of peanuts, these are the methods of the usual, inducements to the ordinary, to pass the time, to adduce pleasure, to encounter danger, to see silver spots before the eyes without fear, the safest form with which to take risks, the advertisement of the days of misery if I can still look up and see the man with the glove and a chance image of the accumulation of objects, the storehouse of pictures which will not work out in memory, there’s only one time when you can’t be doing this or that kind of work and have something like a drink make it easier than it is, and that’s when you’re giving birth to a baby but there’s nothing new about that.

– Bernadette Mayer, from The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters


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