This spoke to me today

December 7, 2007

With a warning: While this is not quite as depressing as my rendition of Autumn Leaves, it isn’t sunshine and roses, folks — as nothing is. I post it for my own sake and so that this story I’ve built about my life can be seen in its entirety, and not just for the warm, happy parts that we all love and live for. I’m sorry that I have been absent lately and will hopefully be visiting over the weekend. Best wishes to all, and please don’t let the quote worry you — it’s just me exploring a bit — the yin along with the yang, as it must be.

I’m sorry there is so much pain in this story. I’m sorry it’s in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force. But there is nothing I can do to change it. I’ve tried to put some of the good things in as well. Flowers, for instance, because where would we be without them? Nevertheless it hurts me to tell it over, over again. Once was enough: wasn’t once enough for me at the time? But I keep on going with this sad and hungry and sordid, this limping and mutilated story, because after all I want you to hear it, as I will hear yours too if I ever get the chance, if I meet you or if you escape, in the future or in heaven or in prison or underground, some other place. What they have in common is that they’re not here. By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you, I believe you’re there. I believe you into being. Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are. So I will go on. So I will myself to go on.

–Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale



  1. Is it incorrect for me not to find this depressing? I think it speaks more to earnest will than to sorrow. Since I belive will moves a person forward, it must be positive. Yes?

  2. Pool ~ I can see that now that I re-read it. Thanks for the encouragement to do so. I love how you think!

  3. And another thing we have in common-an oft read writer. MY favourite of her works is a poem called “A sad Child”

  4. Ah, dear Margaret Atwood. Actually, the Handmaid’s Tale is probably her best bit of writing, because I find her subsequent books awfully derivative of that one.
    But, I will read her and appreciate the nuances of what she has to say, as long as I don’t have to hear her state it. She has the most tiresome voice.
    And you, dear Ang, how are you? Have missed you of late and I do like to get my Angela fix, and I bet I’m not the first person to tell you that.

  5. Iz ~ so good to see you. I hope all is well in your world. I definitely need to look that poem up.

  6. Ian ~ I’m thankful for the advice. I haven’t read her yet — just never stumbled upon her in my travels, though obviously I’ve heard of her. And thank you for caring. I have been holiday busy and entering into hibernation mode for the winter — foraging for food, gorging myself, etc. Soon I will sleep. How are YOU?

  7. This is a great and chilling book. Margaret Atwood at her very best. I think of it often. Sometimes I see a couple and I think of “Offwarren” and the others, which is not exactly healthy on my part.

    I think that with blogging, we are also putting our truths out there, hoping and trusting that they will find sympathetic others. Which they do.

  8. Heart ~ That settles it. I need to go and buy this book. As to blogging, I am so very, very grateful for the sympathetic others you mention. Apparently my words have expressed my heart more than I thought they were capable of based on the calibre of people who contribute here. I feel very, very blessed.

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