“Most important thing in life is learning how to fall.”
“Nobody's perfect. We're all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”
“The women I know with strong personalities, the ones who might have become generals or the heads of companies if they were men, become teachers. Teaching is a calling, too. And I've always thought that teachers in their way are holy--angles leading their flocks out of the darkness.”
“People are like animals. Some are happiest penned in, some need to roam free. You go to recognize what's in her nature and accept it.”
“You can't prepare for everything life's going to throw at you. And you can't avoid danger. It's there. The world is a dangerous place, and if you sit around wringing your hands about it, you'll out on all the adventure.”
“Teaching is a calling too. And I've always thought that teachers in their way are holy - angels leading their flocks out of the darkness.”
“Horses were never wrong. They always did what they did for a reason, and it was up to you to figure it out.”
“If you want to be treated like a mother, act like one.”
“When someone's wounded, the first order of business is to stop the bleeding. You can figure out later how best to help them heal.”
“God deals us all different hands. How we play 'em is up to us.”
“The water you kids were playing in, he said, had probably been to Africa and the North Pole. Genghis Khan or Saint Peter or even Jesus may have drunk it. Cleopatra might have bathed in it. Crazy Horse might have watered his pony with it. Sometimes water was liquid. Sometimes it was rock hard- ice. Sometimes it was soft- snow. Sometimes it was visible but weightless- clouds. And sometimes it was completely invisible- vapor- floating up into the the sky like the soals of dead people. There was nothing like water in the world, Jim said. It made the desert bloom but also turned rich bottomland into swamp. Without it we'd die, but it could also kill us, and that was why we loved it, even craved it, but also feared it. Never take water forgranted, Jim said. Always cherish it. Always beware of it.”
“Sometimes something catastrophic can occur in a split second that changes a person's life forever; other times one minor incident can lead to another and then another and another, eventually setting off just as big a change in a body's life.”
“I could see why Archimedes got all excited. There was nothing finer than the feeling that came rushing through you when it clicked and you suddenly understood something that had puzzled you. It made you think it just might be possible to get a handle on this old world after all.”
“sometimes after I finished a particularly good book, I had the urge to get the library card, find out who else had read the book, and track them down to talk about it”
“But no matter how much planning you do, one tiny miscalculation, one moment of distraction, can end it all in an instant.”
“It (the sun) didn't really care how I felt, it was going to rise and set regardless of whether I noticed it, and if I was going to enjoy it, that was up to me.”
“As I sat down, though, I realized that you can get used to certain luxuries that you start to think they're necessities, but when you have to forgo them, you come to see that you don't need them after all. There was a big difference between needing things and wanting things--though a lot of people had trouble telling the two apart--and at the ranch, I could see, we have pretty much everything we'd need but precious little else.”
“If I owned hell and west Texas, he said, I do believe I'd sell west Texas and live in hell.”
“Dad was a philosopher and had what he called his Theory of Purpose, which held that everything in life had a purpose, and unless it achieved that purpose, it was just taking up space on the planet and wasting everybody's time.”
“It was good work, the kind of work that let you sleep soundly at night and, when you awoke, look forward to the day.”
“The dangerous falls were the ones that happened so fast you didn't have time to react”
“She wore tight corsets to give her a teeny waist - I helped her lace them up - but they had the effect of causing her to faint. Mom called it the vapors and said it was a sign of her high breeding and delicate nature. I thought it was a sign that the corset made it hard to breathe.”
“The way Mom saw it, women should let menfolk do the work because it made them feel more manly. That notion only made sense if you had a strong man willing to step up and get things done, and between Dad's gimp, Buster's elaborate excuses, and Apache's tendency to disappear, it was often up to me to keep the place from falling apart. But even when everyone was pitching in, we never got out from under all the work. I loved that ranch, though sometimes it did seem that instead of us owning the place, the place owned us.”
“Since Mom wasn't exactly the most useful person in the world, one lesson I learned at an early age was how to get things done, and this was a source of both amazement and concern for Mom, who considered my behavior unladylike but also counted on me. "I never knew a girl to have such gumption," she'd say. "But I'm not too sure it's a good thing.”
“In this world, it's not enough to have a fine education. You need a piece of paper to prove you got it.”
“What Dad didn't understand was that no matter how much he hated or feared the future, it was coming, and there was only one way to deal with it: by climbing aboard.”
“I became known as Lily Casey, the mustang-breaking, poker-playing, horse-race-winning schoolmarm of Coconino County, and it wasn't half bad to be in place where no one had a problem with a woman having a moniker like that.”
“...even though I was getting better education at home than any of the kids in Toyah, I'd need to go to finishing school when I was thirteen, both to acquire social graces and to earn a diploma. Because in this world, Dad said, it's not enough to have a fine education. You need a piece of paper to prove you go it.”
“History gets written by the winners, he said, and when the crooks win, you get crooked history.”
“That’s what comes of hungering for something; you forget to check if it’s rotten before you gobble it down”
“Take Back Your Power
Greet the world with no expectation.
Love as though you have never been hurt or betrayed.
Let go of the ones who take so much from you
yet offer nothing in return.
This is how you take back your power.”
“Is your father really evil?” I heard myself ask. “Yes.” “Because he drank, did drugs?” “No, honey. Because God made him that way, and he liked it. Your father had an excuse. My father doesn’t.”
“If you can't see your chains, what use is a key?”
“Know that the only remedy for love is to love more.”
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