“At some point as adults we cease to be our parents' children and we become our children's parents instead.”
“The interior of a teenager’s mind is an endless war between Stupid and Clever.”
“An emotion is a thought, yes, an idea, but it is also a sensation, an ache in your body. Desire, love, hate, fear, repulsion - you feel these things in your muscle and bones, not just in your mind.”
“Damage hardens us all. It will harden you too, when it finds you—and it will find you”
“no one worth knowing can be quite known, no one worth possessing can be quite possessed”
“...don't worry about how things look. People are going to think whatever they think. To hell with 'em. You can't worry about it.”
“the act does not create guilt unless the mind is also guilty.”
“At seventeen, I knew: my entire childhood had been just a prelude to this girl. I had never felt anything like it, and still haven't. I felt changed by her, physically.
I became a different person, myself, the person I am now. And everything that came after-my family, my home, our entire life together-was a gift she gave me.”
“I have an idea that is is what enduring love really means, Your memories of a girl at seventeen become as real and vivid as the middle-aged woman sitting in front of you. It is a happy sort of double vision, this seeing and remembering. To be seen this way is to be known.”
“I admit--no one worth knowing can be quite known, no one worth possessing can be quite possessed-”
“We are pattern-seeking, storytelling animals, and have been since we began drawing on cave walls.”
“I rather doubt he had the sense to see the truth: that there are wounds worse than fatal, which the law's little binary distinctions-guilty/innocent, criminal/victim-cannot fathom, let alone fix. The law is a hammer, not a scalpel.”
“But then, we all tell ourselves stories about ourselves. The money man tells himself that by getting rich he is actually enriching others, the artist tells himself that his creations are things of deathless beauty, the soldier tells himself he is on the side of the angels.”
“The leopard in the zoo wanders to the edge of his pen and, through the bars or across an unjumpable moat, he stares at you with contempt for your inferiority, for needing that barrier between you. There is a shared understanding in that moment, nonverbal but no less real: the leopard is predator and you are prey, and it is only the barrier that permits us humans to feel superior and secure. That feeling, standing at the leopard’s cage, is edged with shame, at the animal’s superior strength, at his hauteur, his low estimation of you.”
'You're my wife. I'm allowed to stare.'
'Is that the rule?'
'Yes. Stare, leer, ogle, anything I want. Trust me. I'm a lawyer.”
“It was as if there was a place called After, and if I could just push my family across to that shore, then everything would be all right. There would be time for all these "soft" problems in the land of After.”
“This is the best thing about men's friendships: most any awkwardness can be ignored by mutual agreement and, true connection being unimaginable, you can get on with the easier business of parallel living.”
“The rest-the vast majority, tens of thousands of days-are unremarkable, repetitive, even monotonous. We glide through them then instantly forget them. We tend not to think about this arithmetic when we look back on our lives. We remember the handful of Big Days and throw away the rest.
We organize our long, shapeless lives into tidy little stories...But our lives are mostly made up of junk, of ordinary, forgettable days, and 'The End' is never the end.”
“A good marriage drags a long tail of memory behind it. A single word or gesture, a tone of voice can conjure up so many remembrances.”
“but good friendships require complementary personalities, not identical ones.”
“I had a childish attraction to men of my father's generation, as if I still harbored a faint hope of being unorphaned, even at this late date.”
“So I got on with the business of lawyering away at the evidence. Minimizing it. Defending Jacob.”
“Damage hardens us all. It will harden you too, when it finds you—and it will find you.”
“A jury verdict is just a guess - a well-intentioned guess, generally, but you simply cannot tell fact from fiction by taking a vote.”
“I have an idea that this is what enduring love really means. Your memories of a girl at seventeen become as real and vivid as the middle-aged woman sitting in front of you. It is a happy sort of double vision, this seeing and remembering. To be seen this way is to be known.”
“Every father knows the disconcerting when you see your child as a weird, distorted double of yourself. It is as if for a moment your identities overlap. You see an idea, a conception of your boyish inner self...made real and flesh.
He is you restarted, rewound; at the same time he is as foreign and unknowable as any other person.”
“We’re not arguing. We’re discussing.” “You’re a lawyer; you don’t know the difference. I’m arguing.”
“You have to follow your intuition. That is what expertise is: all the experience, the cases won and lost, the painful mistakes, all the technical details you learn by rote repetition, over time these things leave you with an instinctive sense of your craft. A "gut" for it.”
“To succeed in sales, you need skills—not skills entirely consistent with moral integrity and emotional well-being, but skills nevertheless.”
“Anhil's coffee was hot, dark, full-flavored, perfect chasing the equally well-turned donut: golden brown, dense without being leaden, not too sweet.”
“I am the Little Bug Spirit. I come to people when they begin to take themselves too seriously. They think they are big. I cut them down to size.”
“The very wish to be right, down to its subtlest form of logical reflection, is an expression of the spirit of self-preservation which philosophy is precisely concerned to break down.”
“A warbler singing— somewhere beyond the willow, before the thicket”
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