“He saw things in a way that others did not, so that a city I had lived in all my life seemed a different place, so that a woman became beautiful with the light on her face.”
“You're so calm and quiet, you never say. But there are things inside you. I see them sometimes, hiding in your eyes.”
“Yes, well, life is a folly. If you live long enough, nothing is surprising.”
“I had walked along that street all my life, but had never been so aware that my back was to my home”
“I wanted to wear the mantle and the pearls. I wanted to know the man who painted her like that.”
“I heard voices outside our front door - a woman's, bright as polished brass, and a man's, low and dark like the wood of the table I was working on. They were the kind of voices we heard rarely in our house. I could hear rich carpets in their voices, books and pearls and fur.”
“He spoke her name as though he held cinnamon in his mouth.”
“It was not a house where secrets could be kept easily.”
“I could not think of anything but his fingers on my neck, his thumb on my lips.”
“My father was often impatient during March, waiting for winter to end, the cold to ease, the sun to reappear. March was an unpredictable month, when it was never clear what might happen. Warm days raised hopes until ice and grey skies shut over the town again.”
“He had decided to trust me.”
“I did not mind the cold so much when he was there.”
“You know I don’t listen to market gossip,” she began,
“but it is hard not to hear it when my daughter’s name is mentioned.”
“There followed a time when everything was dull. The things that had meant something lost importance, though they were still there, like bruises on the body that fade to hard lumps under the skin.”
“Pieter would be pleased with the rest of the coins, the debt now settled. I would not have cost him anything. A maid came free.”
“I slowed my pace. Years of hauling water, wringing out clothes, scrubbing floors, emptying chamber pots, with no chance of beauty or color or light in my life, stretched before me like a landscape of flat land where, a long way off, the sea is visible but can never be reached.”
“At first I could not meet his eyes. When I did it was like sitting close to a fire that suddenly blazes up.”
“Lick your lips, Griet."
I licked my lips.
"Leave your mouth open."
I was so surprised by this request that my mouth remained open of its own will. I blinked back tears. Virtuous women did not open their mouths in paintings.”
“I felt as if my parents had pushed me into the street, that a deal had been made and I was being passed into the hands of a man. At least he is a good man, I thought, even if his hands are not as clean as they could be.”
“There is a difference between Catholic and Protestant attitudes to painting," he explained as he worked, "but it is not necessarily as great as you may think. Paintings may serve a spiritual purpose for Catholics, but remember too that Protestants see God everywhere, in everything. By painting everyday things-tables and chairs, bowls and pitchers, soldiers and maids-are they not celebrating God's creation as well?”
“It seemed to me that the baker had an honest response to the painting. Van Ruijven tried too hard when he looked at paintings, with his honeyed words and studied expressions. He was too aware of having an audience to perform for, whereas the baker merely said what he thought.”
“I leaned agains the warm brick wall and gazed up. It was a bright, cloudless day, the sky a mocking blue. It was the kind of day when children ran up and down the streets and shouted, when couples walked out through the town gates, past the windmills and along the canals, when old women sat in the sun and closed their eyes. My father was probably sitting on the bench in front of the house, his face turned towards the warmth. Tomorrow night might be bitterly cold, but today it was spring.”
“نپرسیدم تا چه حد برای گرفتن این اطلاعات خودش را به خطر انداخته. زیر لب گفتم، « متشکرم پیتر. » برای نخستین بار بود که نامش را بر زبان آورده بودم.
به چشمانش نگریستم و مهربانی را در آن ها دیدم. در عین حال چیزی را تشخیص دادم که از آن وحشت داشتم – توقع.”
“I liked sleeping in the attic. There was no Crucifixion scene hanging at the foot of the bed to trouble me. There were no paintings at all, but the clean scent of linseed oil and the musk of the earth pigments. I liked my view of the New Church, and the quiet. No one came up except him. The girls did not visit me as they sometimes had in the cellar, or secretly search through my things. i felt alone there, perched high above the noisy household, able to see it from a distance.”
“I knew that he would go out to the tavern, returning with eyes like glittering spoons.”
“Я хотіла знати, хоча доки не знала, могла сподіватися.”
“Años de acarrear el agua, retorcer la colada, fregar los suelos, vaciar los orinales, sin que la belleza o el color o la luz entraran en mi vida, se extendían ante mí como una paisaje llano en el que se divisa el mar a lo lejos, pero nunca puedes alcanzarlo. Si no podía trabajar fabricando los colores, si no podía estar cerca de él, no sabía cómo iba a poder seguir trabajando en aquella casa.”
“Evet,yaşam bir aldatmaca. Eğer yeteri kadar uzun yaşarsan, hiç bir şeyin şaşırtıcı olmadığını öğreniyorsun.”
“Paintings may serve a spiritual purpose for Catholics, but remember too that Protestants see God everywhere, in everything. By painting everyday things—tables and chairs, bowls and pitchers, soldiers and maids—are they not celebrating God’s creation as well?” I”
“Blame was a luxury they could no longer afford.”
“I resented having to live differently, just so that I could be the same.”
“Of course, 85 per cent won’t be enough by itself to convict him, but it makes him someone you want to take seriously.”
“When you openly, radically trust people, they not only take care of you, they become your allies, your family. Sometimes people will prove themselves untrustworthy. When that happens, the correct response is not: Fuck! I knew I couldn’t trust anybody! The correct response is: Some people just suck. Moving right along.”
“Queen Magnificent, I challenge you for the throne of the RainWings.”
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