“It was hard to get anyone to say anything that would make the jealousy go away or change into something else.  I felt like the wicked stepsister in a fairy tale.  I told another friend, and she read me some lines by a Lakota Souix:  ‘Sometimes I go about pitying myself.  And all the while I am being carried on great winds across the sky.’  That is so beautiful, I said; and I am so mentally ill.

“Those lines, however, offered the beginning of a solution.  They made the first tiny crack in my prison wall.  I was waiting for the kind of solution where God reaches down and touches you with his magic wand and all of a sudden I would be fixed, like a broken toaster oven.  But this was not the way it happened.  Instead, I got one angstrom unit better, day by day.

“Another piece of the solution came when a poem by Clive James, called  ‘The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered,’  appeared one Sunday in The New York Times Book Review.  ‘The book of my enemy has been remaindered,’  it begins,  ‘And I am pleased.’  It helped more than words can say” (127).

from Bird by Bird

…edit several days later…

Yes, I posted this quote because I need it.  I hope everyone needs it as much as I do, or that no-one else needs it at all.  Which is why I got back here on this post in order to give everyone a link to that Clive James poem Lamott mentioned.  It is wonderful.  Indeed it is joyous.  Here is “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered.”

If you read the poem, and want to know what in heaven’s name is Barbara Windsor’s Book of Boobs, then here also is a link to that majestic piece.  Which, we are to understand, has also been remaindered.