“This is why dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely.”
“Adversity is like a strong wind. I don't mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.”
“He was like a song I'd heard once in fragments but had been singing in my mind ever since.”
“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”
“I don't know when we'll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.”
“I dont think any of us can speak frankly about pain until we are no longer enduring it.”
“We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.”
“Sometimes," he sighed, "I think the things I remember are more real than the things I see. ”
“If you aren't the woman I think you are, then this isn't the world I thought it was.”
“Hopes are like hair ornaments. Girls want to wear too many of them. When they become old women they look silly wearing even one.”
“I had to wonder if men were so blinded by beauty that they would feel privileged to live their lives with an actual demon, so long as it was a beautiful demon.”
“Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.”
“Can't you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge, has been to bring myself closer to you. ”
“Now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.”
“If a few minutes of suffering could make me so angry, what would years of it do? Even a stone can be worn down with enough rain.”
“I never seek to defeat the man I am fighting, " he explained. "I seek to defeat his confidence. A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. Two men are equals - true equals - only when they both have equal confidence.”
“Water is powerful. It can wash away earth, put out fire, and even destroy iron.”
“From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn't there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I'd spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I'd never really tasted the things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been, because I'd thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.”
“If you have experienced an evening more exciting than any in your life, you're sad to see it end; and yet you still feel grateful that it happened.”
“A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory.”
“We can never flee the misery that is within us.”
“If you keep your destiny in mind, every moment in life becomes an opportunity for moving closer to it.”
“Waiting patiently doesn't suit you. I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about.
“Of course, a sign doesn't mean anything unless you know how to interpret it.”
“We none of us find as much kindness in this world as we should.”
“Was life nothing more than a storm that constantly washed away what had been there only a moment before, and left behind something barren and unrecognizable?”
“You cannot say to the sun, 'More sun,' or to the rain, 'Less rain.' To a man, geisha can only be half a wife. We are the wives of nightfall. And yet, to learn kindness after so much unkindness, to understand that a little girl with more courage than she knew, would find her prayers were answered, can that not be called happiness? After all these are not the memoirs of an empress, nor of a queen. These are memoirs of another kind.”
“I could no more have stopped myself from feeling that sadness than you could stop yourself from smelling an apple that has been cut open on the table before you.”
“Dark came early and stayed full of lights and the shouts of children.”
“You want to know what I believe? I believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Meaning, there's a path, but we're free to veer away from it. The only problem is that there's no way to know whose path we're following on any given moment. Our own? Our fate's? Other people are on their on paths, too. What happens when we intersect? What happens when someone else wipes our path clean, and we're left with no road to follow? Is that fate? Is that when free will kicks in? Is the path there, but invisible?
Who the hell knows?”
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning.”
“In the Somme valley, the back of language broke. It could no longer carry its former meanings. World War I changed the life of words and images in art, radically and forever. It brought our culture into the age of mass-produced, industrialized death. This, at first, was indescribable.”
“Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was at the time American consul in Liverpool, provided a preface, then almost instantly wished he hadn’t, for the book was universally regarded by reviewers as preposterous hokum. Hawthorne under questioning admitted that he hadn’t actually read it. “This shall be the last of my benevolent follies, and I will never be kind to anybody again as long as [I] live,” he vowed in a letter to a friend.”
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