“‘You have to allow yourself to open up until you are the exact size of the place you live, no more, or else you get restless. No less, or else you drown.'”

She had enough here—had that not been the purpose of this house,
these hives, this place so near to her moss-blanketed father? To have
enough, to grow precisely large enough for this place and no larger?

[…]

She has grown too big for herself, that is all. Terrible things
occur when you outgrow the space allotted to you. You cannot really
circumnavigate Fairyland like September did, not really. It’s too big
for you.

[…]

“Living alone,” November whispered, “is a skill, like running long
distance or programming old computers. You have to know parameters,
protocols. You have to learn them so well that they become like a
language: to have music always so that the silence doesn’t overwhelm
you, to perform your work exquisitely well so that your time is
filled. You have to allow yourself to open up until you are the exact
size of the place you live, no more, or else you get restless. No
less, or else you drown. There are rules; there are ways of being and
not being. This sort of thing,” she gestured imprecisely at the room,
the bed, him, “is forbidden. It expands or contracts me, I’m not sure
which, beyond the … set limitts. I’m not good at that, either.
Expanding, contracting.”

Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente

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