“He wasn’t a religious man but a vision of what Paradise might be came to him, a windowed room afloat on an endless sea, walls packed floor to ceiling with all the books ever written or dreamed of. It was nearly enough to make giving up the world bearable.”
“From what I have seen of the world, Reverend, motherhood is a certainty, but fatherhood is a subject of debate.”
“He was struck by the sensation she’d made it happen in some way, that his life was simply a story the old woman was making up in her head.”
“Levi’s motives were never quite as obvious. There was an Old Testament ruthlessness about him, Shambler thought, something inscrutably tribal at the root.”
“They never lost their way or seemed even momentarily uncertain of their location. They traveled narrow paths cut through tuckamore and bog or took shortcuts along the shoreline, chancing the unpredictable sea ice. Every hill and pond and stand of trees, every meadow and droke for miles was named and catalogued in their heads. At night they navigated by the moon and stars or by counting outcrops and valleys or by the smell of spruce and salt water and wood smoke. It seemed to Newman they had an additional sense lost to modern men for lack of use.”
“Mary Tryphena said, It's the only thing the world gives us, you know. The right to say yes or no to love.”
“He was a tree stump of a man, limited in his outlook but rooted and unshakeable in his certainties.”
“When the air gets heavy so it's hard to breathe, you know what's coming. The birds come down from the ridges and hide in the hollows and in the pines. Heavy black clouds float over the mountain, and you run for the cabin.
From the cabin porch we would watch the big bars of light that stand for a full second, maybe two, on the mountaintop, running out feelers or lightning wire in all directions before they're jerked back into the sky. Cracking claps of sound, so sharp you know something has split wide open--then the thunder rolls and rumbles over the ridges and back through the hollows. I was pretty near sure, a time or two, that the mountains was falling down, but Granpa said they wasn't. Which of course, they didn't.
Then it comes again--and rolls blue fireballs of rocks on the ridge tops and splatters the blue in the air. The trees whip and bend in the sudden rushes of wind, and the sweep of heavy rain comes thunking from the clouds in big drops, letting you know there's some real frog-strangling sheets of water coming close behind.”
“Cats are like witches. They don’t fight to kill, but to win. There is a difference. There’s no point in killing an opponent. That way, they won’t know they’ve lost, and to be a real winner you have to have an opponent who is beaten and knows it. There’s no triumph over a corpse, but a beaten opponent, who will remain beaten every day of the remainder of their sad and wretched life, is something to treasure.”
“The less people think of you, the more they will reveal to you or in your presence.”
“If I could only reach out and touch the stars, I would know everything. I would understand.”
“It's one thing to run away when someone's chasing you. It's entirely another to be running all alone.”
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