Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

White Oleander - Janet Fitch

“The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw. Only the oleanders thrived, their delicate poisonous blooms, their dagger green leaves. We could not sleep in the hot dry nights, my mother and I.” – the author goes on to describe how her mother’s mental health fluctuated like the Santa Ana winds, rough then calm, strong then gentle, hard then soft, crazy then sane

“Her fingers moved among barnacles and mussels, blue-black, sharp-edged. Neon red starfish were limp Dalis on the rocks, surrounded by bouquets of stinging anemones and purple bursts of spiny sea urchins.”

“His voice was cloves and nightingales, it took us to spice markets in the Celebs, we drifted with him on a houseboat beyond the Coral Sea. We were like cobras following a reed flute.”

“She was a beautiful woman dragging a crippled foot and I was that foot. I was bricks sewn into the hem of her clothes, I was a steel dress”

“She was sitting cross-legged on her bed in her white kimono, writing in a notebook with an ink pen she dipped in a bottle. ‘Never let a man stay the night,’ she told me. ‘Dawn has a way of casting a pall on any night magic.’ The night magic sounded lovely. Someday I would have lovers and write a poem after.”

“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment.”

Advertisements