Best 136 of Aspen Matis quotes - MyQuotes

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Aspen Matis
By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

Still I walked into the snow, moving to keep warm, burning precious energy searching for an answer I couldn’t think of. I didn’t turn back, compelled to continue without the trail. I didn’t want to risk futilely backtracking. If I couldn’t find the trail before dark, I could wake tomorrow disoriented and desperate, without having even made any new miles; my loss of the PCT should have distressed me, but a new instinct led me forward. In this moment of despair I was refusing to stop fighting. I asked the mountains for some guidance, the strength to get myself out of here, and pulled wild power from within myself I’d never known I’d had. I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

But the truth was stranger than an aimless road, it always was.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

My mother overstated the dangers of the world – invented threats. And so I saw: Starbursts’ hoof-made gelatin never gave me mad cow. Mad cow was not a threat to me. And so I thought: most risks weren’t truly real.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

There was so little I wanted to carry. Packing my backpack took me all of four minutes

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was beginning to feel compassion for myself.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

Squatting on my bed–after twelve years of trying and missing, in about two minutes total–I put my own contacts in for the first time. Second try on the right eye, first try on the left. I blinked in the contact, my apartment where I now lived alone and my story coming into focus.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Aspen Matis

When we apply the lessons we've struggled for our whole lives to learn to the lives of people we love, our love becomes judgment—which is toxic. Our fear our daughters will fail leads us to fail them.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I needed only to allow myself to know what I already knew.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

The small word, “No.” I’d see its deity.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

Water was liquid silver, water was gold. It was clarity—a sacred thing. Drinking was no longer something to take for granted. I’d never needed to consider water before.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She’d taken care of me in all the ways my body needed, but the devastation of my rape had made me feel the weight of the essential way she had neglected me: she hadn’t nurtured the potential of my strong and healthy independence.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

Living as Wild Child, I could no longer be Debby Parker comfortably — this name that I’d been given at birth that defined me before I’d had the chance to define myself.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Aspen Matis

When I felt strongly I would say it strongly.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

death is not a pretty flower that had almost pricked me. It was not a small annoyance I could simply bypass and quickly disregard. It was really The End.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

It took me almost two thousand miles in the woods to see I had to do some hard work that wasn’t simply walking—that I needed to begin respecting my own body’s boundaries. I had to draw clear lines. Ones that were sound in my mind and therefore impermeable, and would always, no matter where I walked, protect me. Moving forward, I wanted rules. First—when I felt unsafe I’d leave, immediately. The first time, not the tenth time. Not after a hundred red flags smacked in wind violently, clear as trail signs pointing the way to SNAKES. Not after I’d been bitten—the violation. If I wasn’t interested, I would reject the man blatantly.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

The night Junior stayed, my right to myself was taken from me in a way that had felt more final than ever before. Then the school had denied my rape—my word. The subsequent silencing and exile—misplaced shame—were the catalysts for me to finally break free of my mother's grasp and my voicelessness and do what I truly wanted, alone. I wished to prove myself as independent and valid and strong—to my mother, and to the world. I'd believed I had needed something huge and external that no one could deny was impressive, so I could show my family I was able—so they could finally know that I was strong. Instead I had shown myself. And it felt wonderful.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I no longer needed to peel myself of my skin, or to hide. To Dash the colorless ephemeral things that existed just beneath my surface were as vivid as the beauty marks he traced on my cheek.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I had feared this end, wondered where I would go from it, from the moment I first stepped on this footpath in the desert. But I found I was not afraid of reaching it now. I was happy. I hadn't found every answer for where I was going, but I now had all I needed to take these next steps. I knew I would do what I needed to become a writer now.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

Though I was starved for contact, I didn’t stop to talk to any of these strangers. I had forgotten how to convincingly speak the polite things strangers say to each other.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I realized that the most empowering important thing was actually simply taking care of myself.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was safe in this world. This was a place for creatures—I felt I had become more of a creature than a girl. I could handle myself in the wild.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

Fire is not essential. Fire is warm comfort. From fire, cultures are born.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

It was suddenly Technicolor clear: the only thing holding me from giving myself vision this entire time had actually simply been me. I saw how in the fall and winter of my childhood, I'd walked through the golden aspens. And then I simply committed and gave myself my own eyes. I had once again proven that again alone, I was again enough.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

The harsh dimness that follows loss isn’t static, but charged with the energy of immanent change. Hurt, I was left with a choice: wallow and stay in the dark, or seek light and fight to reach it. These two paths emerged. I had this choice to make. Loss is the shocking catalyst of transformation. I saw that this mountain valley, haunted by senseless murders, darker, had absorbed unthinkable violence and turned it into mesmerizing light. My rape became my catalyst. Rape gave me cause to flee the muteness – forced me into making a bold and forceful change. I chose to fight to find a way to leave to seek my own strength and beauty. I was searching to find the way to make light.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She had wanted me to hold rape inside me like a dark pearl, keep it in there, as it grew, as I grew cramped, as it overtook me as hidden things do. Secrets become lies. I'd carried in every step I took this lie, the shame of it.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

The PCT would lead me to an otherworld, through the sadness I felt here, out of it.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

Mothers are programmed to teach the fit. They are unequipped to listen to pleas, to alter their patterns. Mothers know how to nurse and nurture those who they have hope for—they coo over babies with infections they can help heal, they give advice for things they know, they protect from the dangers they know how to fear. But once their baby becomes so hurt the mother doesn't know how to heal her, she neglects because she doesn't know better. The tricks she knows don't work, she fears, and, eventually, when she is so lost she feels hopeless, she abandons.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I began to lust after our conjoining life.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

If I couldn't find the trail before dark, I could wake tomorrow disoriented and desperate, without having even made any new miles; my loss of the PCT should have distressed me, but a new instinct led me forward. In this moment of despair I was refusing to stop fighting. I asked the mountains for some guidance, the strength to get myself out of here, and pulled wild power from within myself I'd never known I'd had. I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

Water was liquid silver, water was gold. It was clarity—a sacred thing.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I couldn’t yet piece together the disconnected clues to understand the origin of these lights. To explain away strange magic, I’d convinced myself there was an unseen road cutting across the boundless desert floor like a scar. I imagined its different possible courses. The mystery intrigued me. I couldn’t think of the real destination this road would have been built to lead to, but I accepted I couldn’t see, and I accepted it was there, strange but – from where I stood – a beautiful vision.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

For this entire walk, my desire had ashamed me, as if my wanting to be kissed that night mitigated the fault of Junior's sudden deafness. I'd been given stacks of reasons to blame myself for an act of violence committed by another. I had blamed my flirting for his subsequent felony. My college taught me: my rape was my shame. Everyone I'd trusted asked only what I might have done to let it happen. In my gut, I'd always believed I'd caused it. I finally questioned it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

A red leaf danced from a branch like a dropping flame, down into the calm blue lake. A gust had broken it free. There was a cold bite in the wind. It was now deep autumn in the mountains.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I flushed—this time not in shame—but in rage.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She told me that women who wore makeup had bad values. Putting on makeup would have been a statement—a rebellion. I didn’t try it. I grew to feel guilty for wanting to feel attractive.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

This was a vision of wildness contained – caged. Huge, powerful animals whose wild dignity was stripped from them. Panic jolted me. These animals had had their freedom seized by people who put their own desires first. In the glint of the silver cage bars I saw the same steely repression, the same cold entitlement that allows people to feel it is okay to steal bodies and lives as I glimpsed while frozen beneath Junior. The boy who had put his few minutes of pleasure before my entire life.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was promising myself strength. I had to write it, say it, make the effort and fake it before I actually believed I could do it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I hoped my solitude would help me reclaim my innocence, remember who I’d been, to find who I wanted to be. To become her. To love her, Deborah, Debby, Doll Girl, Wild Child, me, despite the irreversible truth that I’d been raped. I was learning again that I could trust myself and, also, I was seeing, other people. I was brave enough now to go out alone towards what I wanted, to trust that I was strong enough for it, to know that help would come when I needed it. It always came.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

And if I'd be left alone in the woods again, I smiled to think how I'd find new gifts and thrive. At the end of a long trail and the beginning of the rest of my life, I was committed to always loving myself. I would put myself in that win-win situation.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She told me that my rape was not my fault, that I should feel no shame, that – simple as it may sound – I hadn’t caused it. No one causes rape but rapists. No one causes rape but rapists. No one causes rape but rapists. It was true. And it had not been obvious to me. And hearing it from someone else, a professional, someone who should know, helped me believe that soon I would believe it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I don’t remember having one conversation with my dad in the three days I was home, but looking back at my journal, I see I wrote about him. I scrawled about how I heard him telling my mom that I needed to go back. I was unhappy; he thought the hiking was better for me. I wonder why he told these things to my mother, nothing to me. I wonder if overhearing his approval encouraged me to finally fly back to the trail. Maybe. Maybe my father’s faith in my walk—in me—made me feel strong enough to leave. His actual words, as I wrote them in my notebook, were, “She’s an adult now, she can do what she wants. It doesn’t mean she’s not selfish.” He almost understood.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I felt unready to hold myself responsible for the decision if I slept with him

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

Maybe I'd die. Maybe I'd burn to ash in wind, or blacken like the pines. Charred skeletons, I'd add one to the count. I didn't feel scared. I didn't think to panic. The trail wasn't burning. I was raw, ripe for loving. I wasn't stopping.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

For all my life, I had been passive when faced with dangers. I was stunned as I swam to find that I had, for the first time in my history, asserted myself and been truly heard—respected. It felt monumental, I was buzzing with adrenaline. It was as if I’d become someone else entirely. I had escaped a kidnapper. It finally felt real. My body unclenched tension in the balmy pool. I was proud of the strength I’d found. I was the one who asserted he take me back; I caused him to listen. I was no longer a passive Doll Girl, trapped. This was me learning I could trust my voice—I’d used it, and it finally worked! I was triumphant. This escape showed me: I had grown, and grown vividly.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I realized that no, no one would actually come to save or even stop me, I had absolutely no choice. The scale tipped: the moment not doing it became more difficult and unbearable than just doing it.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

Second—I’d take much better care of myself. There were simple things I could do. I could start with my poor feet. These little two feet carried me each day for miles and miles, steady and flexed, tired and aching from constant daily pounding, bruised scratched and sometimes rubbed red-raw, my weight pressing and pressing them. I decided now that each night in my tent I’d massage them. I would knead them with lotion because they always ached, and at the end of thirty-mile days they burned—and it would be luxurious—something I could have done the entire way because I had been carrying sun lotion but had never taken the ten sacred minutes to do for myself.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

My relationship with my mother trapped me in the identity of a child.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

My body was smarter than I was. I was with someone who would never hurt me, and so I finally relaxed.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

Rest fixed most things. Sleep was my sweet reward. I treated bedtime as both incentive and sacrament.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was the director of my life, it was already true, and I would soon lead myself to my dreamed-of destinations. It was the task of my one thousand miles of solitude.