“Everyone has to scratch on walls somewhere or they go crazy”
“The joyful will stoop with sorrow, and when you have gone to the earth I will let my hair grow long for your sake, I will wander through the wilderness in the skin of a lion”
“The first sentence of every novel should be: Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human.”
“Before the real city could be seen it had to be imagined, the way rumours and tall tales were a kind of charting.”
“He came to this country like a torch on fire and he swallowed air as he walked forward and he gave out light”
“Nicholas Temelcoff is famous on the bridge, a daredevil. He is given all the difficult jobs and he takes them. He descends into the air with no fear. He is a solitary. He assembles ropes, brushes the tackle and pulley at his waist, and falls off the bridge like a diver over the edge of a boat.”
“The rain comes through their thin cotton clothes against their muscles. Alice sweeps back her wet hair. A sudden flinging of sheet lighting and Clara sees Alice subliminal in movement almost rising up into the air, shirt removed, so her body can meet the rain, the rest of her ascent lost to darkness till the next brief flutter of light when they hold a birch tree in their clasped hands, lean back and swing within the rain.
They crawl delirious together in the blackness. There is no moon. There is the moon flower in its small power of accuracy, like a compass, pointing to where the moon is, so they can bay towards its absence.”
“There was a time when I could have slept with his friend Briffa, for instance. Around him the air was always fraught with possibilities.”
“Commissioner Harris at the far end stared along the mad pathway. This was his first child and it had already become a murderer.”
“He can think now only of objects. Something alive, just one small grey bird on a branch, will break his heart.”
“Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human.”
“Just before six, Bee pulled three wineglasses out of the cabinet and uncorked the bottle of white that Greg had selected for us.
"Light the candles, dear, will you please?"
I reached for the matches and thought about the dinners at Bee's house during my childhood. Bee never served a meal without candles. "A proper supper requires candlelight," she'd told my sister and me years ago. I though it was elegant and exciting, and when I asked my mom if we could start the same tradition at home, she said no. "Candles are for birthday parties," she said, "and those only come once a year.”
“The mirror done broke and your life looking back at you from them sharp glass pieces.”
“Just because the boat rocks doesn't mean it's time to jump overboard.”
“The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”
“She is about to add, "I have scars, inside me," but she stops herself. What is a scar, Oh Toby? That would be the next question. Then she'd have to explain what a scar is. A scar is like writing on your body. It tells about something that once happened to you, such as a cut on your skin where blood came out.”
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