There is only one big thing — desire. And before it, when it is big, all is little.

Willa Cather

. . . the first letter he received from her, and his feeling on seeing his own name in her handwriting.

Albert Camus

I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed, free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people. It’s tangible and you can almost ride on it into another person’s breast. Your heart opens and of course you’re completely panicked because you’re used to guarding this organ with your life. . . . I think all the spiritual training is just to allow you to be able to experience this from a slightly different perspective — one that’s a little more stabilized.

Leonard Cohen

There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be.

Norman Mailer

There are confessable agonies, sufferings of which one can positively be proud. Of bereavement, of parting, of the sense of sin and the fear of death the poets have eloquently spoken. They command the world’s sympathy. But there are also discreditable anguishes, no less excruciating than the others, but of which the sufferer dare not, cannot speak. The anguish of thwarted desire, for example.

Aldous Huxley

The greatest love is a mother’s; then comes a dog’s; then comes a sweetheart’s.

Polish proverb

Our desire must be like a slow and stately ship, sailing across endless oceans, never in search of safe anchorage. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, it will find mooring for a moment.

Etty Hillesum

How nicely the bitch Sensuality knows how to beg for a piece of the spirit when a piece of flesh is denied her.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Suddenly I wanted my loneliness back. Not the old loneliness where I wondered who or what the hell on this planet I could possibly be connected to, but a new loneliness, one in which I accepted the inevitable separateness of being that all of us must endure, the one where it was all right to be alone because there was no other alternative in the world — just yourself and the fair fact of who you were and then the rubbing against others who themselves knew their loneliness.

Charlie Smith

If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

Earl Wilson

He threw everything over for a flawed and impossible passion, only to see the object of it turn against him, proving there is no reward for love except the experience of loving, and nothing to be learned by it except humility.

John Le Carré

Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.

Derek Walcott

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

George Eliot

We all have eyes for our own Dark Angel.

Arthur Rimbaud

If you marry, you will regret it. If you don’t marry, you will regret it.

Søren Kierkegaard

The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else.

Thomas Merton

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.

Toni Morrison