Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

109

The Help Desk

For those in distress

by Kristin Dombek

1
terms
4
notes

i love her

Dombek, K. (2014). The Help Desk. n+1, 19, pp. 109-132

111

I have a garden, or what we call in New York a garden — a cement plot edged with potted plants — and I often think I should go outside to sit at the green plastic table and write and work, in good health, having made myself a glass of iced tea or something. But sometimes I just can’t do it. I make the list, but then I sit on my brown couch and stare for hours, turning something inarticulate over and over in my head, waiting for something that never happens, dehydrating myself, eating nothing good, caught between dread and guilt about not doing the things on the list and the pleasure of not doing the things on the list, while the air gets too heavy to move through, the stillness a little terrifying, if I let it be, like lucid dreaming about paralysis. Recently nearly a whole week passed while I was on the couch, while the sun shone outside and the flowers bloomed absurdly.

—p.111 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago

I have a garden, or what we call in New York a garden — a cement plot edged with potted plants — and I often think I should go outside to sit at the green plastic table and write and work, in good health, having made myself a glass of iced tea or something. But sometimes I just can’t do it. I make the list, but then I sit on my brown couch and stare for hours, turning something inarticulate over and over in my head, waiting for something that never happens, dehydrating myself, eating nothing good, caught between dread and guilt about not doing the things on the list and the pleasure of not doing the things on the list, while the air gets too heavy to move through, the stillness a little terrifying, if I let it be, like lucid dreaming about paralysis. Recently nearly a whole week passed while I was on the couch, while the sun shone outside and the flowers bloomed absurdly.

—p.111 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago

(noun) a rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form; e.g. ‘Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.’.

111

Wallace leaves the guy there, crucified in the shape of an X, a chiasmus, a portrait of profound stuckness

—p.111 by Kristin Dombek
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

Wallace leaves the guy there, crucified in the shape of an X, a chiasmus, a portrait of profound stuckness

—p.111 by Kristin Dombek
notable
3 years, 6 months ago
115

That the end is always there in the beginning is, obviously, no comfort. Our strangeness and difference from one another is what makes it feel so expansive and effervescent to learn each others’ bodies and worlds; this is what makes the world shine, and then empties it out, for a while, when the other becomes strange again. It’s true, but it’s also bullshit; some people are able to learn one another again, apologize, forgive, make new. She could have. He could have. You could have. I could say: Next time, ask to meet the husband. But you are not asking what to do next time. You are asking what can be saved, if anything, of the world you made together.

—p.115 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago

That the end is always there in the beginning is, obviously, no comfort. Our strangeness and difference from one another is what makes it feel so expansive and effervescent to learn each others’ bodies and worlds; this is what makes the world shine, and then empties it out, for a while, when the other becomes strange again. It’s true, but it’s also bullshit; some people are able to learn one another again, apologize, forgive, make new. She could have. He could have. You could have. I could say: Next time, ask to meet the husband. But you are not asking what to do next time. You are asking what can be saved, if anything, of the world you made together.

—p.115 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago
118

[...] The phrase “try harder” first came to my attention when I was writing an essay for this very magazine. Next to a paragraph that was foundering on the rocks of my typically confused mind, Mark Greif, rather than engaging in any substantial way with the content of that paragraph or giving me any guidance at all about how I might improve it, instead wrote in the margin next to the paragraph in blue ink, try harder.

At first I was puzzled. Try harder at what? Try harder at making sense, I supposed, but how? Maybe Mr. Greif should try harder at editing, I thought. But then, because he had asked, I decided to attempt what he’d suggested. I turned my attention more vigorously to the problem paragraph, and found the place in the mind where you can — motivated by heightened belief and desire — make yourself make more sense, and I sat still and worked until the paragraph got better, and it did. And the fact that he hadn’t told me what to do, but assumed that if I tried harder, I would figure out what to do, was the condition of possibility for being able to do this.

this is both funny and also worth remembering on a more serious note

—p.118 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] The phrase “try harder” first came to my attention when I was writing an essay for this very magazine. Next to a paragraph that was foundering on the rocks of my typically confused mind, Mark Greif, rather than engaging in any substantial way with the content of that paragraph or giving me any guidance at all about how I might improve it, instead wrote in the margin next to the paragraph in blue ink, try harder.

At first I was puzzled. Try harder at what? Try harder at making sense, I supposed, but how? Maybe Mr. Greif should try harder at editing, I thought. But then, because he had asked, I decided to attempt what he’d suggested. I turned my attention more vigorously to the problem paragraph, and found the place in the mind where you can — motivated by heightened belief and desire — make yourself make more sense, and I sat still and worked until the paragraph got better, and it did. And the fact that he hadn’t told me what to do, but assumed that if I tried harder, I would figure out what to do, was the condition of possibility for being able to do this.

this is both funny and also worth remembering on a more serious note

—p.118 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago
124

[...] That summer weekend, I was floating at one end of her pool, looking at her big yellow house and watching her, beautiful in her black-and-white swimsuit, taking care of her two little girls at the other end of the pool with patience and her characteristic disarming silliness. She makes motherhood look as fun as a Saturday night at my local, which is to say, very fun. The joy I felt about her life with these daughters, the good husband she’d managed to keep, the poems — it was so material as to make my heart feel stretched; I felt a different but equal joy about my own life. This witnessing of another’s life with genuine pleasure, even or especially when its different success might threaten your own personal philosophy of life — I’ve been thinking this is true friendship, or a part of it.

—p.124 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] That summer weekend, I was floating at one end of her pool, looking at her big yellow house and watching her, beautiful in her black-and-white swimsuit, taking care of her two little girls at the other end of the pool with patience and her characteristic disarming silliness. She makes motherhood look as fun as a Saturday night at my local, which is to say, very fun. The joy I felt about her life with these daughters, the good husband she’d managed to keep, the poems — it was so material as to make my heart feel stretched; I felt a different but equal joy about my own life. This witnessing of another’s life with genuine pleasure, even or especially when its different success might threaten your own personal philosophy of life — I’ve been thinking this is true friendship, or a part of it.

—p.124 by Kristin Dombek 3 years, 6 months ago