“Hope is the most treacherous thing in the world. It lifts you and lets you plummet. But as long as you're being lifted you don't worry about plummeting.”
“But people need lift, too. People don't get moving, they don't soar, they don't achieve great heights, without someone buoying them up.”
“Hope is treacherous, but how can you live without it?”
“It is so hard trying to say what you mean.”
“It's an illusion I've noticed before-- words on a page are like oxygen to a petrol engine, firing up ghosts. It only lasts while the words are in your head. After you put down the paper or pen, the pistons fall lifeless again.”
“Fight with realistic
hope, not to destroy
all the world's wrong,
but to renew its good.”
“God knows what I thought! Your brain does amazing acrobatics when it doesn't want to believe something.”
“Five years of destruction and mayhem, lives lost everywhere, shortages of food and fuel and clothing - and the insane mind behind it just urges us all on and on to more destruction. And we all keep playing.”
“You can't just sit in a corner weeping or you'll die.”
“These trials aren't about revenge. They're about justice. Don't you want justice, Rose Justice?”
“Incredible. It is just incredible that you can notice something like that when your face is so cold you can't feel it anymore, and you know perfectly well you are surrounded by death, and the only way to stay alive is to endure the howling wind and hold your course. And still the sky is beautiful.”
“It had never occurred to me that simply being with a fellow prisoner would make me feel like I was still in prison.”
“Tell me “The Subtle Briar” again,’ she asked. She knew I would still know it by heart. I whispered to her in the dark.
‘When you cut down the hybrid rose,
its blackened stump below the graft
spreads furtive fingers in the dirt.
It claws at life, weaving a raft
of suckering roots to pierce the earth.
The first thin shoot is fierce and green,
a pliant whip of furious briar
splitting the soil, gulping the light.
You hack it down. It skulks between
the flagstones of the garden path
to nurse a hungry spur in shade
against the porch. With iron spade
you dig and drag it from the gravel
and toss it living on the fire.
‘It claws up towards the light again
hidden from view, avoiding battle
beyond the fence. Unnoticed, then,
unloved, unfed, it clings and grows
in the wild hedge. The subtle briar
armors itself with desperate thorns
and stubborn leaves – and struggling higher,
unquenchable, it now adorns
itself with blossom, till the stalk
is crowned with beauty, papery white
fine petals thin as chips of chalk
or shaven bone, drinking the light.
‘Izabela, Aniela, Alicia, Eugenia,
Stefania, Rozalia, Pelagia, Irena,
Alfreda, Apolonia, Janina, Leonarda,
Czeslava, Stanislava, Vladyslava, Barbara,
Veronika, Vaclava, Bogumila, Anna,
Genovefa, Helena, Jadviga, Joanna,
Kazimiera, Ursula, Vojcziecha, Maria,
Wanda, Leokadia, Krystyna, Zofia.
‘When you cut down the hybrid rose
to cull and plough its tender bed,
trust there is life beneath your blade:
the suckering briar below the graft,
the wildflower stock of strength and thorn
whose subtle roots are never dead.”
“Hope has no feathers
Hope takes flight
tethered with twine
like a tattered kite,
slave to the wind's
eager to soar
but needing lift
Hope waits stubbornly
watching the sky
for turmoil, feeding on
things that fly:
crows, ashes, newspapers,
dry leaves in flight
all suggest wind
that could lift a kite
Hope sails and plunges
at the end of her string -
fallen slack, pulling taught,
ragged and featherless.
Hope never flies
but doggedly watches
for windy skies.”
“She gave me a dirty look. Then she broke into the bubbly champagne laugh. She turned and ran, limping but steady. She laughed over he shoulder, letting out the line as I held the kite above my head.
"Run with me, Rose," she cried.”
“A poet and a doctor. Maybe I could.
This the first thought I have of it. Maybe I could.”
“When you’re flying, the changing balance of lift and weight pulls you up or down. But another pair of forces pulls you forward or backward through the air: thrust and drag. Thrust is the power that pulls the kite forward—you run with it to get it up in the air. You have to have thrust to create lift. Drag is there because your kite’s surfaces push against the air and slow the kite down. Drag doesn’t pull you out of the sky; it makes you fly more slowly.”
“Each force in flight is balanced by an opposing force. The opposite of lift is weight. Weight is always trying to pull an object back to earth, so to get something to stay up, lift has to be greater than weight. You’d think your weight would always be the same, but it isn’t. When you do aerobatics or go into a dive—like a kite that’s plunging into the sand at the beach—there’s an increase in gravity, and that makes you weigh more. If you want your heavy kite to stay in the air, you have to increase the lift, as well. Maybe by waiting for a stronger wind. Maybe by finding a windier place to fly your kite. Maddie brought lift back into my life by forcing me outside. So did Bob, who introduced me to the editors of this magazine. So did Fernande, the chambermaid at the Paris Ritz, who gave me her daughter’s clothes and made me get dressed and brought me coffee every morning for three weeks.”
“And you know, it was like I was breathing my own self back into me to say these word,s to remember that these things existed--the green trees of the eastern woodland at home in North America, their strong and supple branches, sunlight through the trees.”
“Róża laughed until she broke off choking. 'Oh, so now that I've got a decent coat I'm supposed to stay in the plane with the crazy _taran_ pilots!'
'Oh, Różyczka.' I sighed, too. I didn't know how to explain to her that she could _stop fighting_ now. Or stop fighting _us_, anyway.”
“How can you grow to love a handful of strangers so fiercely just because you have to sleep on the same couple of wooden planks with them, when half the time you were there you wanted to strangle them, and all you ever talked about is death and imaginary strawberries?”
“Everything I know about passive resistance I learned from Micheline. She always appeared to be doing exactly as she was told, but everything she did took twice as long as it should have.”
“There are four forces which work together if you want to put something into the sky and have it stay there. One of these is lift.
Lift is made when the air pressure under a wing is greater than the air pressure over the wing. Then the wing gets pushed upwards. That’s how birds fly. That’s how kites fly – a kite is basically just a solitary wing. That’s how airplanes fly.
But people need lift too. People don’t get moving, they don’t soar, they don’t achieve great heights, without something buoying them up.”
“You know, it set you at war with yourself.”
“This is what’s so heartbreaking: the fact that I am here, alive, has no doubt given Fernande some grain of hope for her daughter. But the fact that I was there makes me sure there isn’t any.”
“I am scared of the way they are clinging to the French and Belgian ports, even though they’ve been pushed out of most of the rest of France. There is something about it that spooks me. They’ve lost.”
“I am about to stop being a get-along kind of guy and turn into somebody who makes a difference.”
“Shhhhhh!" Bang! "Damn it, Chilcot, I said toss the pebble, not break the damned window! Here, I'll do it." They had found her after checking every coaching inn on the London road in a desperate race to catch her before she reached the capital and was lost to them forever. The proprietor of this inn just outside Hounslow had confirmed their frantic queries. Yes, a pretty young woman with dark hair had taken a room for the night. Yes, she spoke with a strange accent. And yes, she had a baby with her. "Put her upstairs, Oi did," the garrulous landlord had said. "She wants an early start, so I gave 'er the east bedroom. Catches the mornin' sun, it does." But Gareth had no intention of waiting until morning to see Juliet. Now, standing in the muddy road beside the inn, he unearthed a piece of flint with his toe, picked it up, and flung it at the black square of the east-facing upstairs window. Nothing. "Throw it harder," urged Perry, standing a few feet away with his arms folded and the reins of both Crusader and his own mare in his hands. "Any harder and I'll break the damned thing." "Maybe you don't have the right window." "Maybe you ought to just do it the easy way and ask the bloody innkeeper to rouse her." "Yes, that would save time and trouble, Gareth. Why don't you do that?" Gareth leveled a hard stare at them all. His temper was short tonight. "Right. And just what do you think that's going to do to her reputation if I go knocking on the door at three-o'-bloody-clock in the morning asking after her, eh?" Chilcot shrugged. "As for her reputation, she's already ruined it herself, getting a bastard babe off your brother and all —" Without warning, Gareth's fist slammed into Chilcot's cheekbone and sent him sprawling in the mud. "'Sdeath, Gareth, you didn't have to take it so personally!" Chilcot cried, scowling and rubbing the side of his face. "She's family. Any slur upon her name and I will take it personally. Understand?" "Sorry," Chilcot muttered, sulking as he gingerly touched his cheek. "But you didn't have to thump me so damned hard." "Another remark like the last one and I'll thump you even harder. Now, stop whining before you wake everyone in town and word gets back to my damned brother." With”
“I remember my wife in white.' It just made people weep to hear it...Everybody just thought it was the saddest sentence that was ever written. And it didn't matter if I never wrote another word. This one sentence had put an end to the need for any future sentences. I had said it all.”
“I am Gabriel, the messenger, the teller of astonishing truths.”
“He spent the afternoon watching the indicator light turn from red to orange to green and thought about how useless it was to be angry at anybody about an abstract principle...How could any idea that drives a man away from the people who love him be considered sound?”
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