“I knew it like destiny, and at the same time, I knew it as choice.”
“As for myself, I am splintered by great waves. I am coloured glass from a church window long since shattered. I find pieces of myself everywhere, and I cut myself handling them.”
“Tell me a story, Pew.
What kind of story, child?
A story with a happy ending.
There’s no such thing in all the world.
As a happy ending?
As an ending.”
“When people looked at him they had the feeling of being shut out. He did not shut them out. He shut himself in.”
“He doubted her. You must never doubt the one you love.
But they might not be telling the truth.
Never mind that. You tell them the truth.
What do you mean?
You can't be another person's honesty, child, but you can be your own.
So what should I say?
When I love someone?
You should say it.”
“There it is; the light across the water. Your story. Mine. His. It has to be seen to be believed. And it has to be heard. In the endless babble of narrative, in spite of the daily noise, the story waits to be heard.
Some people say that the best stories have no words. They weren't brought up to Lighthousekeeping. It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.”
“Don't regret your life, child, it will pass soon enough.”
“I do not accept that life has an ordinary shape, or that there is anything ordinary about life at all. We make it ordinary, but it is not.”
“Names are still magic; even Sharon, Karen, Darren, and Warren are magic to somebody somewhere. In fairy stories, naming is knowledge. When I know your name, I can call your name, and when I call your name, you'll come to me.”
“We are lucky, even the worst of us, for daylight comes.”
“You were in my arms for the first time, and you said my name, 'Tristan.'
I answered you: 'Isolde.'
Isolde. The world became a word.”
“This is not a love story, but love is in it. That is, love is just outside it, looking for a way to break in.”
“It’s better to think of my life like that— part miracle, part madness. It’s better if I accept that I can’t control any of the things that matter. My life is a trail of shipwrecks and set-sails. There are no arrivals, no destinations; there are only sandbanks and shipwreck; then another boat, another tide.”
“Where did love begin? What human being looked at another and saw in their face the forests and the sea? Was there a day, exhausted and weary, dragging home food, arms cut and scarred, that you saw yellow flowers and, not knowing what you did, picked them because I love you? In the fossil record of our existence, there is no trace of love. You cannot find it held in the earth's crust, waiting to be discovered. The long bones of our ancestors show nothing of their hearts.”
“We're here, there, not here, not there, swirling like specks of dust, claiming for ourselves the rights of the universe. Being important, being nothing, being caught in lives of our own making that we never wanted. Breaking out, trying again, wondering why the past comes with us, wondering how to talk about the past at all.”
“Words are the part of silence that can be spoken.”
“I think of love as a force of nature-as strog as the sun, as necessary, as impersonal, as gigantic, as impossible, as scorching as it is warming,as drought-making as it is life-giving.”
“We are told not to privilege one story above another. All the stories must be told. Well, maybe that's true, maybe all stories are worth hearing, but not all stories are worth telling.”
“We live in a world of buy it or leave it. Love does not signify.”
“The continuous narrative of existence is a lie. There is no continuous narrative, there are lit-up moments, and the rest is dark. When you look closely, the twenty-four hour day is framed into a moment; the still-life of the jerky amphetamine world. That woman-a pieta. Those men, rough angels with an unknown message. The children holding hands, spanning time. And in every still-life, there is a story, the story that tells you everything you need to know.”
“Today, the sun is everywhere, and everything solid is nothing but its own shadow, I know that the real things in life, the things I remember, the things I turn over in my hands, are not houses, bank accounts, prizes or promotions. What I remember is love -- all love -- love of this dirt road, this sunrise, a day by the river, the stranger I met in a café. Myself, even, which is the hardest thing of all to love, because love and selfishness are not the same thing. It is easy to be selfish. It is hard to love who I am. No wonder I am surprised if you do.”
“It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.”
“Nothing can be forgotten. Nothing can be lost. The universe itself is one vast memory system. Look back and you will find the beginnings of the world.”
“I have a list of titles that I leave at the [library] desk, because they are bound to be written some day, and it's best to be ahead of the queue.”
“There’s no story that’s the start of itself.”
“You can’t be another person’s honesty, child, but you can be your own.”
“It was a long story, and like most of the stories in the world, never finished. There was an ending - there always is - but the story went on past the ending - it always does.”
“...what he told himself on those sea-soaked nights...Others joined in and it was discovered that every light had a story-no, every light was a story. And the flashes themselves were the stories going out over the waves, as markers and guides and comfort and warning.”
“I went outside, tripping over slabs of sunshine the size of towns. The sun was like a crowd of people, it was a party, it was music. The sun was blaring through the walls of houses and beating down the steps. The sun was drumming time into the stone. The sun was rhythming the day.”
“Every new beginning prompts a return.”
“He unrolls names like a splendid carpet.”
“Family strength is a marvellous thing.”
“Nothing. You know what that feels like. Reach for it. Grab it. Make it yours.”
“Speak again with Messer Simone and fish up what you can. Fair weather or foul, it’s the part of wisdom to be prepared.”
“ducked away and took a few steps backward in the direction of her door.”
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