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Robin Black quotes (showing 1-27 of 27)

“It's unexpectedly painful to have become a pronoun.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“I don’t think about Terry every day, anymore. And sometimes I’m stunned by that fact. It isn’t only the discomfort of disloyalty I feel, it’s the fact of utter disappearance after death. The idea that as loved as we may be, we may also be forgotten. If only for a day here and there.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“Leaning in, he kisses her on the cheek. Like an old acquaintance, she thinks. As though there had never been any passion, nor love, nor rage, nor anything much, just some traces of innocuous familiarity between them. Live long enough, it seems, and every fire can burn itself out.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“By forty, is there anyone who hasn’t had to recognize that happiness, as understood by youth, is illusory? That the best one can hope for is an absence of too many tragedies and that the road through the inevitable grief be, if not smooth, then steady?”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“It was 911 calling me. If you can believe it. Them calling me.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“This is where they failed, all those years back, he believes. In taking care of one another when tragedy struck. It broke them, broke them all.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“... all of it conspiring to carry them through those first few minutes and through the front door of the house with a lightness that doesn't allow for anything as potentially heavy as an acknowledged fresh start.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“What part of life isn't peculiar? Seriously? At what point, really, do you stop and say, well, THIS is really strange? THIS part. Not THAT part. But THIS part.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
tags: life
“How funny it was. The very thing that had broken her heart, now no longer wanted. A trick of time.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“Life. It begins and begins and begins. An infinite number of times. It is all beginnings until the end comes. Sometimes we know it and sometimes we do not, but, at every moment, life begins again.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“The notion of a country cottage settled in her thoughts as a watercolor, red bricks, climbing roses, the house the most intelligent of the three little pigs built, but with some age on it now; and the place they found in western Massachusetts wasn’t far off, solid enough to withstand huffs and puffs, small enough to feel manageable, large enough to hold visiting grandchildren, old enough to inspire optimism about what might, improbably, endure.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“Rejection is part of the game. Or rather, rejection is part of the profession. A profession which at times can feel like a game.”
Robin Black
“....now and then the universe just insists on changing your life in ways that you didn't ask it to.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“There are often two conversations going on in a marriage. The one that you’re having and the one you’re not.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“I had confessed fully-with all the misguided passion of one who believes that she is cleansing herself and forgets that she may be staining the listener.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“Sometimes life demands things of you, that just the fact of being alive means for allowing for possibilites that may be far from what you'd planned or even hoped.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“Make your skin as thick as you are able to, for your career. Keep it as thin as you can tolerate, for your art.”
Robin Black
“Jean Kurek looked a bit like a field mouse herself, with her close-cut gray hair, in her shapeless gray dress—no zippers, no buttons. Stroke clothes. Her appearance was no more or less distinguished than it had been all her sixty-eight years, the most likely description of her a string of negatives. Not really tall or short, you wouldn’t say she’s heavy but she isn’t particularly thin, not ugly, not at all, but not pretty either, her hair is that color that isn’t blond or brown. Arguably, her most striking feature was the absence of any striking feature—though her hair had finally claimed a color, gray. She’d certainly never been considered beautiful, not by anyone other than Cliff, who had been adamant on the point for over forty years; but if she’d ever yearned for greater consensus, that yearning had been tempered by her knowledge of how she would loathe the attention it would bring. Jean had spent a lifetime trying to be inconspicuous, appreciating that nature had given her a head start.”
Robin Black, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
“It is autumn, mid-October, and the greens of our first encounter with this land have dressed up in fancy costume, orange, scarlet, yellow, to welcome us. It is almost too much to take in, all the beauty.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“just graduated from Tufts—Laine”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“There were some kids at Tufts who had been in the army, but they stayed to themselves. I’m pretty sure we must have seemed like babies to them.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“There are moments in a creative life when you understand why you do it. Those moments might last a few seconds or maybe, for some people, years. But whatever the actual time that passes, they still feel like a single moment. Fragile in the way a moment is, liable to be shattered by a breath, set apart from all the other passing time, distinct.
But then it changes. And what seemed unimaginably exhilarating gets bogged down, even when a project is going well. It is a gradual, inevitable sobering during which your right to be passive diminishes. What the ether has given you, now in fact belongs to you. And then it is work. Then it is hard.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“Do whatever you have to do, avoid whatever you need to avoid, protect yourself however you need to protect yourself in order to stay on course, write, send the work out, write more, send out more work. Because as wonderful as the rest of it may be, conferences, twitter, writing groups, and so on, if they are more than you can handle, that’s okay. But if you stop writing and stop sending your work into the world, that is not okay. That is giving up.”
Robin Black
“That's what happens when one of you dies. The clock stops. The story ends. You can make some sense of it all. Begin to see patterns. Begin to understand. Maybe you can only begin to understand. Maybe the patterns are only the ones that you impose. But the thing takes on a different shape. It takes on a shape.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
tags: death
“My mother's death...seemed so much the focal point of all personal history in our lives, it was as though time began for us when it stopped for her. Maybe this is what happens to everyone - not necessarily sudden deaths , but certain events that create distinct before and after lines, walls really, requiring a great effort to climb, discouraging doing so.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“I spent so much time thinking about regret. Regret and its accompanying conviction that there is a perfect, placid life, one's own alternate existence, pristine and simple, existing in a neighboring reality in which certain turns in the road were never set upon. And it isn't true. Any of it. I knew that. I had learned it. But it is an irresistible fantasy, if only because it implies we have some control over our fates.”
Robin Black, Life Drawing
“You cannot write the pages you love without writing the pages you hate. Nothing that you write is pointless, useless, or unnecessary. The product requires the process. The good days may be more enjoyable, but the tough ones are the ones they’re built upon.”
Robin Black


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