"I am trying to summon all my strength just to not want anything for you. Not to hope you have all the things I didn't, and all the things I did, nor to frame your being with the stiffened angles of my own regret. Not even to hope you will be able forgive me, for all my many trespasses."
-- Susanna Hislop, To My Unborn Child

There are far too many exquisite quotes to pull from this particular Hislop piece. We're so in sync. It's as if she's drawing her fingers across the pulsing surface of my heart and translating the Braille of its rhythm. Okay, just a couple more, but you really ought to read the whole thing!

"You are endlessly fascinating to me, even if I did sometimes find myself - in the slow, empty chaos of hours and days and weeks after you were born - torn asunder by fear and boredom and shock. Even if a genetic predisposition to not dealing with you at all well hovered in the shadows of the room as I held your hungry mouth to my breast. No. I love you, I am sure, more than all the love I have ever held in my heart."

"But in this catching of happiness - if I am to be a good mother - will you make me dull? It's the women I listen to. George Eliot ridiculing Celia in Middlemarch : that familiar figure of nappied inanity lost in a world of maternal arrogance. A pregnant Plath, having 'boarded the train there's no getting off'. But then Woolf, with whole houses and a mind of her own, howling, childless, in the night..."

"My very far away, unborn hope: of you I am as terrified as of an unknown child in a darkened room, whose clear vowels rise through the moonlight, asking only for love."