Vanessa Woods · 278 pages
Rating: (1.7K votes)
“We do terrible things to the ones we love. We cheat and lie and betray them, for thirty pieces of silver or our own selfish hearts. The only way love endures is because of one simple gift. Forgiveness.”
“When I talk to people about what makes us human, some people say it’s our tears. Because we are the only ones who weep, only we can feel true sorrow. When I hear this, I remember Isiro’s face, her anguished eyes as she cried for Mikeno, how she screamed at the keepers with her teeth bared and pushed at the poles. How she dashed back to his body and dug her fingers into his chest as if the strength of her grip could bring him back. There is sorrow without tears. Of course there is.”
“It is a cumulative tragedy, the same tragedy that blights the entire country. With so many dead bodies, how do you begin to rebuild? How do you trust enough to hope? And how do you hold on to life when it no longer seems worth living?”
“If there are those you love, whoever or wherever you are, hold them. Find them and hold them as tightly as you can. Resist their squirming and impatience and uncomfortable laughter, and just feel their heart throbbing against yours. Give thanks that for this moment, for this one precious moment, they are here, they are with you, and they know they are utterly, completely, entirely loved.”
“When Joseph Conrad saw how Europeans behaved in Congo in 1890, he described them as “reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage…To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe.” More than a hundred years later, not much has changed.”
“There is something in the eyes of a bonobo that you don’t see in those of a tiger or a shark. They are human eyes, but not the cautious glimpse of a stranger you pass on a city street, or the pretended interest of a shrink you’re paying $300 an hour. Or someone you think you recognize but don’t. The eyes of a bonobo are the eyes of your best friend or a lover or a priest. They see into you. They see nothing else. They invite confession.”
“The power of sadness has always amazed me.”
“The Chinese say that love is balance. He is the water to my fire.The chimpanzee to my bonobo. And when I am mired in life’s ugliness, when I can see only what’s decaying both inside and outside my own head, he is the blindness I need, the mindless faith in happy endings.”
“Claudine tells me there was fluid around Bolombe’s heart. That the stress of his capture was too much. I always thought hearts were broken, but apparently they drown.”
“I'm not a fighter by nature, but, if I believe in something, I stand up for it”
“To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exlcude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.”
“You don't love people at their best, sweetheart. You just love them because you can't help it.”
“My mind is like the streets of Hong Kong.”
“Nos da miedo preguntar porque nos da miedo saber.”
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