“Mr. Bernard died on a Monday, at the age of seventy-five, his body wasted. He lay in state for two days in the lobby of the Bernard Gursky Tower and, as he failed to rise on the third, he was duly buried.”
“It seems to me that our lives are consumed by countless wasting years, but only a few shining moments. I missed mine. Yes is what I should have said. Of course I should have said yes.”
“If Canada had a soul (a doubtful proposition, Moses thought) then it wasn't to be found in Batoche or the Plains of Abraham or Fort Walsh or Charlottetown or Parliament Hill, but in The Caboose and thousands of bars like it that knit the country together from Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, to the far side of Vancouver Island.”
“Without a doubt, it [Canada] is the land God gave to Cain.”
“They had lived to see their simple patriotism derided, their morality despised, their savings devalued. They caused no trouble. Millions of pounds of public money wasn’t regularly siphoned into their neighbourhoods in the hope of bribing, cajoling or coercing them into civic virtue. If they protested that their cities had become alien, their children taught in overcrowded schools where 90 per cent of the children spoke no English, they were lectured about the cardinal sin of racism by those more expensively and comfortably circumstanced. Unprotected by accountants, they were the milch-cows of the rapacious Revenue. No lucrative industry of social concern and psychological analysis had grown up to analyse and condone their inadequacies on the grounds of deprivation or poverty.”
“It is in the nature of things to want to believe that what's familiar and comfortable will last forever.”
“The spirit of the depths even taught me to consider my action and my decision as dependent on dreams. Dreams pave the way for life, and they determine you without you understanding their language. One would like to learn this language, but who can teach and learn it? Scholarliness alone is not enough; there is a knowledge of the heart that gives deeper insight. The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth. Scholarliness belongs to the spirit of this time, but this spirit in no way grasps the dream, since the soul is everywhere that scholarly knowledge is not.”
“The very concept of imitation is suspect to begin with (if children are general imitators, why don’t they imitate their parents’ habit of sitting quietly in airplanes?),”
“Unfortunately, she did. “Do you think any of us will ever be normal again?”
Rae considered this. “I’m told that somewhere around third year, we lose the urge to cite the Constitution in everyday conversation.”
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