That Enchanted Place

The world was hers for the writing...

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The Set Up

My parents raised me to ignore most bounds of superficiality, so my mother’s face when I stumble in with hair streaked with London rain and eyebrows in sore need of threading, prepares me for the worst.

The poor lad. On one side is his mother, smiling, wrapped in silk, mentally taking in the fact that try as I might my shawl just will not stay perfectly draped.  On the other, sits a girl whose life history has been conveyed to him in the car, a few odd things jumping off the resume: law school. Mouthy then. Argumentative. Not to mention the gallivanting off to…Africa? And Western Europe? Without a chaperone? Yah allah, a modern one. Dangerous stuff.

‘Uncross your legs,” my aunt mouths to me. Right. Ladylike. 5’1 and ladylike. This is the aim.

Here is the thing about my smile: it ranges from manical grin, to smirk, to ‘about to split into a cackle’. When I try and arrange my features into a smile that is supposed to communicate the fact that this was not my idea, what emerges is a grimace. I resemble the Grinch, if the Grinch had been unlucky enough to stumble into a blind date with a Christmas Elf.

And then there’s my ability to deal with awkward silences, filling them all in quite cheerfully as my victim looks at me mystified.

Dad however, seems to like the guy.

‘So are you interested in sport?’

‘Oh yeah. I’m an Arsenal fan.’

I sense rather than see my mother quietly groan to herself. Dad and I exchange glances.

Ah, what could have been. 

Filed under writers on tumblr indian spilled ink prose kerala apologies to anyone my family entrapped on my behalf

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The straightforward mermaid starts every sentence with “Look … ” This comes from being raised in a sea full of hooks. She wants to get points 1, 2, and 3 across, doesn’t want to disappear like a river into the ocean. When she’s feeling despairing, she goes to eddies at the mouth of the river and tries to comb the water apart with her fingers. The straightforward mermaid has already said to five sailors, “Look, I don’t think this is going to work,” before sinking like a sullen stone. She’s supposed to teach Rock Impersonation to the younger mermaids, but every beach field trip devolves into them trying to find shells to match their tail scales. They really love braiding. “Look,” says the straightforward mermaid. “Your high ponytails make you look like fountains, not rocks.” Sometimes she feels like a third gender—preferring primary colors to pastels, the radio to singing. At least she’s all mermaid: never gets tired of swimming, hates the thought of socks.
The Straightforward Mermaid, Matthea Harvey

Filed under the straightforward mermaid matthea harvey poetry the new yorker if the tabloids are true what are you?

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‘We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.
As you create this story and I create this story, I would like to ask you how things were. I would like to ask you about the person who held your hand when dust entered our eye or ran with you from the rain. I would like to tarry here awhile with you, or if tarrying is impossible, to transcend my here, with your permission in your creation, so tantalizing to me, and so unknown. That I can’t do this doesn’t stop me from imagining it. And how strange that when I imagine, I feel. The capacity for empathy is a funny thing.’ 

We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.

As you create this story and I create this story, I would like to ask you how things were. I would like to ask you about the person who held your hand when dust entered our eye or ran with you from the rain. I would like to tarry here awhile with you, or if tarrying is impossible, to transcend my here, with your permission in your creation, so tantalizing to me, and so unknown. That I can’t do this doesn’t stop me from imagining it. And how strange that when I imagine, I feel. The capacity for empathy is a funny thing.’ 

Filed under how to get filthy rich in rising asia mohsin hamid the reluctant fundamentalist books reading THIS BOOK KILLED ME

46,220 notes

thehpalliance:

If you use YouTube, you need to know this.
You’ve heard all these rumblings about Net Neutrality over the past several months. Let’s get real: this is about controlling online video. It is estimated that by 2017, video content will account for 80-90% of all global Internet traffic.
This isn’t just about not being able to binge-watch a series on Netflix. It’s about the future of online video as we know it.
Whether your YouTube channel is home to daily vlogs, short films, or just that one video from when the cinnamon challenge seemed like a good idea, you’re a video creator. Your content and comments help shape this community. Let’s keep it that way.
Net Neutrality means that your YouTube videos reach people at the same speed as clips from last night’s episode of the Tonight Show. It means a level playing field for video creators looking to reach an audience. But new Net Neutrality rules could mess that up.
Here’s the deal: Telecommunications companies already charge us to access the Internet through our homes and our phones. New FCC rules could allow them to also charge content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and even PBS) for access to our eyeballs. It could create a fast lane for Jimmy Fallon’s clips, and slow lane for your YouTube videos.
It is really important that the FCC understands that online video creators care about Net Neutrality. Even if you’ve only ever uploaded ONE VIDEO, you are a creator and you have a voice.
If you can, please add your channel to our petition. We’ll deliver this to the FCC in September and demonstrate that the online video community cares about this issue. 
Sign the petition, then spread the word.

thehpalliance:

If you use YouTube, you need to know this.

You’ve heard all these rumblings about Net Neutrality over the past several months. Let’s get real: this is about controlling online video. It is estimated that by 2017, video content will account for 80-90% of all global Internet traffic.

This isn’t just about not being able to binge-watch a series on Netflix. It’s about the future of online video as we know it.

Whether your YouTube channel is home to daily vlogs, short films, or just that one video from when the cinnamon challenge seemed like a good idea, you’re a video creator. Your content and comments help shape this community. Let’s keep it that way.

Net Neutrality means that your YouTube videos reach people at the same speed as clips from last night’s episode of the Tonight Show. It means a level playing field for video creators looking to reach an audience. But new Net Neutrality rules could mess that up.

Here’s the deal: Telecommunications companies already charge us to access the Internet through our homes and our phones. New FCC rules could allow them to also charge content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and even PBS) for access to our eyeballs. It could create a fast lane for Jimmy Fallon’s clips, and slow lane for your YouTube videos.

It is really important that the FCC understands that online video creators care about Net Neutrality. Even if you’ve only ever uploaded ONE VIDEO, you are a creator and you have a voice.

If you can, please add your channel to our petition. We’ll deliver this to the FCC in September and demonstrate that the online video community cares about this issue.

Sign the petition, then spread the word.

(via fishingboatproceeds)

Filed under nope

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I thought of a bunch of kids in Trafalgar Square. I thought of a young woman, dancing, for once in her life. I thought of what I couldn’t know or understand now, of all that couldn’t ever be known or understood. I thought of Adrian’s definition of history. I thought of a woman frying eggs in a carefree, slapdash way, untroubled when one of them broke in the pan; then the same woman, later making a secret, horizontal, gesture beneath a sunlit wisteria. And I thought of a cresting wave of water , lit by a moon, rushing past and vanishing upstream, pursued by a band of yelping students whose torchbeams criss-crossed in the dark.
The Sense of An Ending, Julian Barnes

Filed under the sense of an ending julian barnes the booker prize literature summer reading what a book beautiful (slightly edited for spoilers)