A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

Quotes from A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

“Why can’t destiny announce itself? It could be a twelve headed ass, wear purple trousers or a name tag. All I know is that I don’t fall in love, neither at first sight nor easily over time. My heart is rusty from the old pins that hold it shut. That’s what I believe about myself.”

“Quick to cry as I am to smile, who can tell me why? A long-ago something that still rasps inside me. Much of my crying is for joy and wonder than than pain. Everyday beauty. I cry for how life intoxicates. And maybe, just a little, for how swiftly it runs.”

“If I could give Venice to you for a single hour, it would be this hour, and it would be in this chair that I would sit you, knowing I would be close by, checking on your comfort. Knowing that the night that comes to thieve that lush last light would also be off with your heartaches. That’s how it would be.”

“Some people ripen, some rot. We grow sometimes, but we never change. Can’t do it. No one can. Who we are is fixed. There isn’t a soul who can unfix another soul, not even his own.”

“I know a woman who says it’s only at three o’clock in the morning when anyone can measure things. She says if you love yourself at three o’clock in the morning, if there’s someone in your bed that you love at least as much as you love yourself, if your heart is quiet in your chest and neither muses nor shades crowd the room, it probably means things are well. It’s the hardest moment to lie to yourself .”

“Why scurry? Why settle something before it needs to be settled? If enough time passes between the settings and the finishing, one might find one’s self not needing what it was one settled on and someone else finally finished. And anyway, where is the joy in endings?”

“I don’t pretend to understand these feelings, but I’m willing to let the inexplicable sit sacred.”

“He holds his arms out to catch me, kissing me and kissing me so hard I can hardly catch my breath. I think, perhaps, this is how the world should end.”

“How strange it is, sometimes, which conversations or events stays with us while so much else melts as fast as April snow.”

“Too often it is we who won’t let life be simple. Why must we squeeze it and bite it and slam it against what we’ve convinced ourselves are our great powers of reason?”

“Take my hand and grow young with me. Don’t rush. Don’t sleep. Be a beginner. Light the candles. Keep the fire. Dare to love someone. Tell yourself the truth. Stay inside the rapture.”

“This is what I’ve always wanted. I’ve wanted to belong, to matter, to cherish and be cherished. I wanted life to be that romantic, that simple and safe. Is it ever that way? Is anyone ever sure?”

“I saw you only in profile and I kept walking toward you. I stopped a few feet from you, and I just stood still, taking you in. I began to follow you, but I stopped because I had no idea what I’d do if I came face-to-face with you. I mean, what would I say? How could I find a way to talk to you? And so I let you go. I looked for you the next day but I knew you were gone. If only I’d see you walking alone somewhere, I could stop you, I would tell you how beautiful you are. I never found you, so I held you in my mind. Then I saw you the other day sitting there and I realized it was you. Somehow I’ve been loving you since that afternoon. I fell in love with you, not at first sight, because I saw only a part of your face. With me, it was love at half sight. It was enough.”

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