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I Stay, I Go

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28th September 2002

10:43pm: I was rustling through the papers by my bedside today and found this. It's something that ran on my friend's page awhile back though I've forgotten who posted it. I printed it out and shuffled it into a stack of papers kept on a box by my bed. I go through the stack fairly frequently so knew I'd soon come across it again and have reason to smile & sigh & be grateful for passionate & well-placed words. Hope you enjoy it too....


From ENEMIES, by Maxim Gorky, spoken by the character, Tatiana:

Not long ago life was so clear and simple, one could see what one wanted. I did once
think that on the stage my feet were planted in solid ground... That I might grow tall...

(Emphatically, with distress.)

But now it's all so painful- I feel uncomfortable up there in front of those people, with
their cold eyes saying, 'Oh, we know all that, it's old, it's boring!'. I feel weak and
defenseless in front of them. I can't capture them, I can't excite them... I long to
tremble in front of them with fear, with joy, to speak words full of fire and passion and
anger, words that cut like knives, that burn like torches... I want to throw armfuls of
words, throw them bounteously, abundantly, terrifyingly... So that people are alight
by them and shout aloud, and turn to flee from them... And then I'll stop them. Toss
them different words. Words beautiful as flowers. Words full of hope and joy, and love.
And they'll be weeping, and I'll weep too... wonderful tears. They applaud. Smother
me with flowers. Bear me up on their shoulders. For a moment- I hold sway over them
all... Life is there, in that one moment, all of life, in a single moment. Everything' that's
best is always in a single moment. How I long for people to be different- more
responsive, less careful- and for life to be different, not all hustle and bustle, a life in
which art is needed, always, by everybody, all the time! So I could stop feeling... totally
superfluous...
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