Nancy Venable Raine

-- The need to feel safe can become an addiction that cannot be satisfied by external measures, although it takes many years to discover this. There will never be enough locks, security cameras, dogs, or doormen to satisfy the craving. When the sense of safety is destroyed, the temptations to construct it outside the self is itself the source of more addictions. You can spend a fortune and still find yourself sitting alone in the dark, trembling. Precautions, no matter how elaborate and sound, remain on the surface, like sargasso. No roots descend into the mysterious depths where the wreck truly lies.

-- "I write in order to find out what I know." - Patricia Hampl

-- The association between natural beauty and horror was especially painful for me. It was more than recognizing that a solitary walk in the woods or along a deserted seashore might not be as safe as I had once imagined and that it was wise to find a companion- if you could find a quiet one. It was deeper than the empirical knowledge I now had that being a woman alone was to be at risk. It was the loss of the solace of the wild, natural places or wild corners of tame ones. The rapist had damaged my capacity for what I felt was a form of prayer. I withheld the devout attention I had once given to the gifts bestowed on my senses by nature in order to protect myself from the evil that seemed to lurk just beyond the visible world. It was a deprivation that impoverished my mind and spirit for many years.

-- I know of no word in common usage to describe the actual condition of individuals who have experienced profound loss as they undergo the complicated, introspective process of self-redemption- [as perhaps] when passages of the spirit had rites and rites had communities. When I found myself in this condition, I wanted a word.

-- Rape is different from all other crimes, and it is one of the most insidious. It is the only crime of violence that masquerades as sex. Rape is the wolf lying in Grandmother's bed, wearing her nightgown. Like Little Red Riding Hood, we are aware that something is different about Grandmother but are fooled nevertheless by appearances. Rape is a death force that can disguise itself as the life force to which all human beings are inexorably drawn. Rapists are sexual imposters. Many benefit from the confusion created by their disguise, just as many victims suffer from the consequences of that confusion. Rape mimics what it aims to devour- the mysterious life-affirming force that renews us and fulfills our most profound longings for union. Rape devours erotic love, the communion of body and being, the mysterious affirmation of existence beyond power and all its metaphors, the channel into and out of the center of creation where words and body disappear into the void of pleasure, the all-encompassing journey of two as one, and one as many and all.