See a Problem?
We’d love your help. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill.
Not the book you’re looking for?
Preview — Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
The reason to have a home is to keep certain people in and everyone else out.
“You are not allowed to compare your imagined accomplishments to our actual ones,”
There is a story about a prisoner at Alcatraz who spent his nights in solitary confinement dropping a button on the floor then trying to find it again in the dark. Each night, in this manner, he passed the hours until dawn. I do not have a button. In all other respects, my nights are the same.
What Simone Weil said: Attention without object is a supreme form of prayer.
Dear Family and Friends, It is the year of the bugs. It is the year of the pig. It is the year of losing money. It is the year of getting sick. It is the year of no book. It is the year of no music. It is the year of turning 5 and 39 and 37. It is the year of Wrong Living. That is how we will remember it if it ever passes. With love and holiday wishes.
A thought experiment courtesy of the Stoics. If you are tired of everything you possess, imagine that you have lost all these things.
There is a husband who requires mileage receipts, another who wants sex at three a.m. One who forbids short haircuts, another who refuses to feed the pets. I would never put up with that, all the other wives think. Never. But my agent has a theory. She says every marriage is jerry-rigged. Even the ones that look reasonable from the outside are held together inside with chewing gum and wire and string.
it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.
Here is what happens in middle age: Some friends and acquaintances who were merely eccentric for years become unmistakably mad.
Q. Why couldn’t the Buddhist vacuum in corners? A. Because she had no attachments.
The only love that feels like love is the doomed kind. (Fun fact.)
What Rilke said: I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.
What Rilke said: Surely all art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.
The Zen master Ikkyu was once asked to write a distillation of the highest wisdom. He wrote only one word: Attention. The visitor was displeased. “Is that all?” So Ikkyu obliged him. Two words now. Attention. Attention.