It was this shame which dressed her suddenly, permeated her gestures, clouded her beauty, her eyes with a sudden opaqueness. She experienced it as a loss of beauty, an absence of quality.
Every improvisation, every invention to Alan was always followed not by any direct knowledge of this shame, but by a substitution: almost as soon as she had talked, she felt as if her dress had faded, her eyes dimmed, she felt unlovely, unlovable, not beautiful enough, not of a quality deserving to be loved.
Page 15 illustration for A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin.
I would like to dedicate this post to Sara Jones, who passed this month. She introduced me to Anais Nin and I am eternally thankful for it. RIP.