Francisco X. Stork · 312 pages
Rating: (16.5K votes)
“Be in the world but not of the world.' The words are from Jesus. But I have not the slightest idea how to accomplish that or even if it's possible. The world will always poke you in the chest with its index finger.”
“That's what faith is, isn't it? Following the music when we don't hear it.”
“Is not seeing any ugly parts in myself an ugly part? Is not wanting to forgive someone's ugly parts an ugly part in oneself?"
Yeah. I didn't understand a word you said, but yeah.”
“Aurora once told me that she knew I was different within the first few months after I was born, because as a baby, I never cried. She had no way of knowing if I was hungry or if my stomach hurt until I was old enough to point and talk. Even when I fell and it was obvious that I had hurt myself, I did not cry. When I didn't get my way, I would go off by myself and sulk or have a tantrum. But I never cried. Later, when I was eleven and Abba died, I didn't cry. When Joseph, my best friend at St. Elizabeth's, died, I didn't cry. Maybe I don't feel what others feel. I have no way of knowing. But I do feel. It's just that what I feel does not elicit tears. What I feel when others cry is more like a dry, empty aloneness, like I'm the only person left in the world.
So it is very strange to feel my eyes well with tears as I read Jasmine's list.”
“Boy, you really break things down, don't you?'
Some say it is an illness.'
We should all be so ill.”
“Then it comes to me. It cannot be that this is the first time I realized this, but it is. We all have ugly parts. I think of the time in the cafeteria when Jasmine asked me what the girl in the picture was asking me. How do we live with all the suffering? We see our ugly parts, and then we are able to forgive, love kindness, walk humbly.”
“The right note sounds right and the wrong note sounds wrong.”
“How do we live with all the suffering? We see our ugly parts, and then we are able to forgive, love kindness, walk humbly.”
“Actually, I am asking myself if conversations with friends always feel like this--two minds bound together by their focus on the same subject.”
“I deal with people like him a hundred times a day. They look at me and naturally assume I'm not as smart as they are. God help us. But think about it, it's a tremendous tactical advantage, not to mention personally liberating, to haveothers think I'm a dummy.”
“My brain is like a water faucet that I can turn on or off. Only now there is no off and the water of thoughts just flows.”
“Maybe I don't feel what others feel. I have no way of knowing. But I do feel. It's just that what I feel does not elicit tears. What I feel when others cry is more like a dry, empty aloneness, like I'm the only person left in the world.”
“Jasmine is logical in her thinking. One step leading to another. Analyzing probabilities and discarding them."
"You look surprised. Didn't you know that I was smart?" She pretends to be angry.
Even though I know she is teasing me, I feel my face get red-hot. How can I tell her that I knew but I didn't know -- like seeing the sunset every evening but not seeing it.”
“What the author of Genesis wants to tell us, I think, is that man, when united with God, is not divided. In this unity, there is no good and evil. All of our inclinations, even the sexual ones, are good when we are in Eden -- that is, when we walk with God and all our actions, words, and thoughts seek to follow His will. But man can choose to be separate from God, and in this separateness he creates evil by imagining ways to use what is good in ways that hurt him or others, and then acting upon what he imagines.”
“He is remembering," I say.
"It's a word I use for praying. Sometimes it's like waiting for music to come out of the silence.”
“I wanted you to have an image of this place in your mind because you need to know that it exists. People think a place like this is perfect. Living a simple life close to the land and all that. It isn't. There are mean people and alcoholics and medical bills to pay and depressed people galore. But some of us feel okay here, you know, despite all that.”
“The dictionary defines pride as “pleasure or satisfaction in one’s work or achievement.” According to that definition a person needs to do something before you can be proud of them. You could not be proud of them simply for who they are. I’m not sure I know what pride in another person feels like.”
“If only customs were logical. If only the rules were as simple as "Don't do anything that will hurt others." If that were the only rule, I’d have at least a fifty percent chance of getting it right. I would, for example, ask myself whether saying the Rosary silently on the train would hurt others. The answer would be no and so I would say it. As it is, the reasons as to why something is right and something is not seem arbitrary.”
“but sometimes i think like a child."
"you are who you are."
"if I am who I am, why is it not possible for me to work at a place where I can be who I am ?”
“The attraction here is based on man’s need to conquer and tame, but also to hoard and deprive others of the prize.”
“She doesn't need to believe in God or even remember Him to do His work. Her belief is in her deeds, which is okay.”
“The "real stuff" is what he calls the music that is piped in through the speaker in the machine. The music that comes from inside my head is not considered real.”
“If I told you that God speaks to us through our urges so long as these are safe and proper and totally civilized and don't hurt anyone, what would I be saying? If I told you longing is okay as long as it is within the bounds of what our world considers normal, I would be going counter to my whole tradition. My people discovered divine urges, for goodness' sake. Not namby-pamby urges either. It was loincloth-tearing, harlot-marrying, sacrificing, succumbing, and surrendering kinds of urges. Not without bickering and haggling, I'll grant you, but ultimately urges of the worst kind, the kind that demanded everything.”
“For all the pain I saw at Paterson, it is nothing compared to the pain that people inflict upon each other in the real world. All I can think of now is that it is not right for me to be unaware of that pain, including the pain that I inflict on others. Only how is it possible to live without being either numb to it or overwhelmed by it?”
“You always do this to people?"
"Get them to empty their guts out just like that."
"We do not have much time. We should only talk about what is important.”
“It is easier to say that AS best describes my differences. It makes people more comfortable to have a scientific-sounding term. But actually, I feel dishonest when I say I have AS because the negative effects of my differences on my life are so slight compared to other kids who have AS or other forms of autism and truly suffer. I always feel like I'm doing the people who have these conditions a disservice when I use the medical term, because then people say, "Oh, that doesn't seem so bad. What's all the fuss about?”
“If you're asking all this because of Wendell, forget it. Wendell has a few marbles missing when it comes to women." I like that expression very much, even though I disagree. If anything, Wendell has more marbles than he needs when it comes to women.”
“Here's another unexpected experience—this pleasure I feel when I imagine how I am going to tell Wendell that I will not ask Jasmine to go on a boat ride. What do I call that?”
“How did Ixtel become real for me? The world is full of Ixtels who I can help without hurting my father. Why this one? How was it her suffering that touched me? Father. I feel connected to her through my father's actions. I feel an obligation to right my father's wrong. But why? Shouldn't my father's welfare come first? His welfare is my welfare. How does one weigh love for a parent against the urge to help someone in need? I feel like what is right should be done no matter what. This lack of doubt makes me feel inhuman. But it is not a question of my head for once. I hear the right note. I recognize the wrong note. Maybe the right action is a lake like this one, green and quiet and deep.”
“A man must make of his life a ladder that he never ceases to climb -- if you're not rising, you are slipping down the rungs, my friend.”
“I’m not an animal. I don’t pretty on people’s families to get back at them. (Angelia)
Oh, girl, trust me. Animals don’t revenge-kill or –attack. That’s purely human. So in this case, you better act like an animal and guard her with your life. ‘Cause that’s what I’m going to take if she so much as gets a paper cut in your presence. (Vane)”
“I can't see the future. But when I dreamed of the future, he was the one I was tied to.”
“But I don’t know how to capture what takes place except by living each thing that now and at the instant happens to me and it’s not important what. I let the horse gallop free, fiery from pure, noble joy. I, who run nervously and only reality delimits me. And when the day comes to an end I hear the crickets and I become full of thousands of tiny, clamouring birds. And each thing that happens to me I live here, taking note of it. Because I want to feel in my inquiring hands the living and trembling of what is today.”
“If a girl has baby wipes in her house, but no baby—I’d say she will most likely be down to let you put it in her ass. “I”
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