“This is the human way, she thought. On the edge of destruction, at the end of all things, we still dance. And hope.”
“..You always have to choose between the path of needles and the path of pins. When a dress is torn, you know, you can just pin it up, or you can take the time to sew it together. That's what it means. The quick and easy way or the painful way that works.”
“Do you think that doing the right thing will always be pretty?”
“I knew you lived," her mother said after a moment. "Any daughter of mine would be ruthless enough.”
“In all your life, your only choice is the path of needles or the path of pins.”
“The problem with martyrs is that they’re all dead”
“Whatever creature you turn into, whatever form you take, I won't let go of you.”
“But that’s what makes it so exciting. Will she kiss me or will she kill me—I think every man secretly wants to play that game”
“She had won them the sun and the moon, but she had become a monster”
“Every day for the last three years, she had thought she deserved to die. She still didn’t want to. She wanted to live with every filthy desperate scrap of her heart”
“There were three of them, all with rapiers, and she had only a dagger. It would have been a wretchedly uneven fight, if she were human.
It was still a wretchedly uneven fight; it was just uneven in her favor.”
“He knew what she was and he was not letting go.”
“Mademoiselle, you are very kind," he said to Soleil. "But I did not lose my hands for the purpose of making you feel special.”
“If I'm damned, what's the point of pretending that I'm not?”
“Her dreams were a tangled mess of blood and shuddering trees”
“Speechless?” asked Erec. “Don’t be ashamed. I bring all ladies to that state sooner or later.”
“Too bad for you,” she said, “I’m not a lady.”
“I think sometimes there is no right thing.”
“For your penance," the Bishop said finally, "say three rosaries, one for each year of your sinful life, and offer them for the people you have harmed."
"That is not remotely enough," she snapped.
"Do you need also to confess doubts about the power of God to forgive sins?"
"Yes," she admitted after a few moments.
"In that case, for your penance, say only one rosary.”
“He grinned at her, and it felt like there was no space or barrier at all between them, like his smile was happening inside her heart. Without meaning to at all, she smiled back.”
“He leaned close and breathed in her ear, "You will be the lady dearest and most dreadful."
For a moment, she almost felt the wind of the Great Forest in her hair.”
“I tell you, there was nothing she would not do for her brother.”
“I grow impatient, little girl.” “Then learn to wait,”
“I killed somebody and I'm not sorry," she said, calmly and very distinctly. "I don't think you want me on your altars unless blasphemy is the custom of your kingdom.”
“She said that you always had to choose between the path of needles and the path of pins. When a dress is torn, you know, you can just pin it up, or you can take the time to sew it together. That’s what it means. The quick and easy way, or the painful way that works.”
“He stared at her a moment longer, then laughed softly. “I wouldn’t love you if you were any weaker,” he said, and let go of her.”
“Just because things were fair didn't make them easy.”
“The question is," said Amelie, sounding like she had just come to the end of a long speech, "are you brave enough?"
"I can't make you beautiful," said Amelie. "I'm going to give you the most beautiful makeup you've ever seen, but if you just sit under it and - and wilt, you'll look pathetic. It's like a sword. If you don't wield it, then it isn't any use to you. And it's all right if you want to look pathetic most of the time, but this is my one chance to show anyone what I can do, so you are not going to ruin it. Understood?”
“I'd rather worship bloody bones than the murderer who makes them.”
“The problem with martyrs is that they’re all dead. What do they have to do with us that are simple enough to still be alive? Should we just give up and want to die because death is better than dishonor? But suicide is a sin too so we really are damned if we do and damned if we don't.”
“She had never, in her whole life, been satisfied with peace.”
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to.”
“But then I sigh, with a piece of Scripture
Tell them that God bids us to do evil for good;
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stolen out of Holy Writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
“I receive remarkable letters. They are opened for me, unfolded, and spread out before my eyes in a daily ritual that gives the arrival of the mail the character of a hushed and holy ceremony. I carefully read each letter myself. Some of them are serious in tone, discussing the meaning of life, invoking the supremacy of the soul, the mystery of every existence. And by a curious reversal, the people who focus most closely on these fundamental questions tend to be people I had known only superficially. Their small talk has masked hidden depths. Had I been blind and deaf, or does it take the harsh light of disaster to show a person's true nature?
Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a child crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more deeply than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark... I hoard all these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship.
It will keep the vultures at bay.”
“Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a haystack... The tiny space I occupy is so infinitesimal in comparison with the rest of space, which I don’t occupy and which has no relation to me. And the period of time in which I’m fated to live is so insignificant beside the eternity in which I haven’t existed and won’t exist... And yet in this atom, this mathematical point, blood is circulating, a brain is working, desiring something... What chaos! What a farce!”
“Can I cut off your head?"
"Are you asking for my permission?”
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