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This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers
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“Love, being in love, isn’t a constant thing. It doesn’t always flow at the same strength. It’s not always like a river in flood. It’s more like the sea. It has tides, it ebbs and flows. The thing is, when love is real, whether it’s ebbing or flowing, it’s always there, it never goes away. And that’s the only proof you can have that it is real, and not just a crush or an infatuation or a passing fancy”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“I’ve always been a slow learner in some areas of my life.mostly the areas known as myself. Or maybe I should say ‘selves.’because the fact is, I’ve never, even as a child, felt I’m only one self, only one person. I’ve always felt I’m quite a few more than one. For example, there’s my jokey self, there’s my morose and fed-up self,there’s my lewd and disgusting self. There’s my clever-clogs self, and my fading-violet-who-cant-make-up-her-mind-about-anything self. There’s my untidy-clothes-everywhere-all-over-my-room self, and my manically tidy self when I want my room to be minimalist and Zen to the nth degree. There’s my confidant, arrogant self and my polite and reasonable and good listener self. There’s my self-righteous self and my wickedly bad self, my flaky self and my bsentimental self. There are selfs I like and selfs I don’t like.there’s my little-girl selfnwhonlikes to play silly games and there’s my old-woman self when I’m quite sure I’m eighty and edging towards geriatric.
The self I show in action at any moment depends on where I am, who I’m with, the circumstances of the situation and the mood I’m in.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers.
Are people like that? I wondered. Am I like that? Always me, like the river itself, always flowing but always different, like the water flowing in the river, sometimes walking steadily along andante, sometimes surging over rapids furioso, sometimes meandering wit hardly any visible movement tranquilo, lento, ppp pianissimo, sometimes gurgling giacoso with pleasure, sometimes sparkling brillante in the sun, sometimes lacrimoso, sometimes appassionato, sometimes misterioso, sometimes pesante, sometimes legato, sometimes staccato, sometimes sospirando, sometimes vivace, and always, I hope, amoroso.
Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Secrets. Funny how, when you're about to be given something precious, something you've wanted for a long time, you suddenly feel nervous over taking it.
Everyone wants more than anything to be allowed into someone else's most secret self. Everyone wants to allow someone into their most secret self. Everyone feels so alone inside that their deepest wish is for someone to know their secret being, because then they are alone no longer. Don't we all long for this? Yet when it's offered it's frightening, because you might not live up to the desires of the one who bestows the gift. And frightening because you know that accepting such a gift means you'll want-perhaps be expected- to offer a similar gift in return. Which means giving your *self* away. And what's more frightening than that?”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“There are times when you don't know yourself. There are times when you don't want to know yourself. There are times when you want to be what you have never allowed yourself to be before.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“All the time I think I can never love you more than I already do. And then you do something or say something, and I love you more than ever. Like just now. Like now. How is it possible? Can you love someone more and more and at the same time, all the time, love them as much as it's possible to love someone?”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Books are essential to me. I cannot live without them, because I cannot live without reading.

But, Arry has just said to me, you can always borrow them so why buy them?

I don't buy books just to collect them. I'm not a collector. I'm not interested in them as objects that might be valuable one day, regardless of what they are about, nor do I want to own every book ever written by one particular author or on one particular subject. I buy them because I want to read them, and I keep them because I've read them.

I can't afford to buy all the ones I'd like to, so I have to borrow quite a few, and this has taught me something about myself, which I haven't heard anyone else admit. When I've read a book which I really like, a book which MATTERS, I feel it belongs to me. I mean, the book itself, the copy I've read. It's as if I pour myself onto the pages as I read them, all my thoughts and emotions, so that by the time I've finished that copy holds inside it the essence of my reading.

A borrowed book has to be returned, so I lose this essence of myself when I give it back. Besides which, a borrowed book has inside it something of everyone else who's read it. They've fingered it and pawed over it, breathed on it, done heaven knows what else as well as read it. And knowing this spoils my reading. The other readers get in my way. I can feel their presence on the cover and on the pages. They even make it smell differently from my own books. In fact, to my mind they've polluted the book and everything in it. That is also why I never buy second-hand books.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Doing anything when you're bored is very very boring. Anyway, doing nothing is the point of being bored. The pleasure of being bored is mooning about and doing nothing.
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“I cannot live without reading.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“I don't know, I can't quite get it."
"Don't try. It's just words."
"Just words?"
"Just words! We love them so much, you and me. But in the end, they fail us. Because there are truths beyond words.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“If a boy, if a man, asks you if you're all right and you say yes, he'll always believe you and get on with what he wants to do. It's just the way they're made.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“History dies without the present. There is no future without the path made to it by the past.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“The demons of the Devil don't use your weak weaknesses against you, they use your strong ones. If you're rational and logical, they argue their case rationally and logically. If you're loyal and faithful, they turn those against you. If you're passionate and emotional, they make you passionate and emotional about your worse fears. Your weak weaknesses are no use to them.... They find the strongest weaknesses you didn't know were yours and use those against you.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Yet, isn't it strange, isn't it weird, how we can KNOW that someone is not behaving in the way we imagine, and at the same time we can be totally convinced that he is! How clever the human mind is, that it can accept two contradictory things as 'facts.' Yes, I know that in this case one 'fact' was untrue. But the human mind can KNOW something is untrue and still accept it as a 'fact,' and act on it as if it were true.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Belief means willing yourself to give all your attention to living with loving gladness in the world you think really exists.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“We resent being faced with facts we'd prefer to ignore as much as being wrongly accused of doing something we haven't.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Things it helps me to remember
When in a bad mood, keep quiet or still.
Baggy jumpers don’t suit you.
When you’re tired you get doubtful.
Difficulties come in spurts.
Listen to the echo of your own voice. Avoid be strident.
All aeroplanes go through clouds during their journeys. So do people during theirs.
Often greater clarity comes out of confusion. You have to be puzzled before you find a solution.
PMS often brings on a crisis of confidence.
Ordinariness is restful.
If someone is explosive in front of you, be silent. If you feel explosive, be silent.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“As Oscar Wilde put it, Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.

No no, Oscar, darl: Experience is the name of the whole darn game.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Every secret told, every declaration made, is a boundary crossed, a step taken into unknown country that can never be unstepped, never reversed, never erased.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“Don't be his story. Don't be anyone else's story. Be your own story. Protect yourself.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“If I have a creed, this is it:
My god is language, written and read.
And there is no other god but this.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
“At the end of things we turn into historians. Sometimes happy, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes regretful or bitter, sometimes to reassure ourselves that we have amounted to something, however small. And sometimes, as I am doing now, to try with the wisdom of hindsight to make sense of ourselves.”
Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn