“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.”
“Lonely, ain't it?
Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely.”
“It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”
“It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.”
“In a way, her strangeness, her naiveté, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings, had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous.”
“When you gone to get married? You need to have some babies. It’ll settle you.'
'I don’t want to make somebody else. I want to make myself.”
“The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over.”
“There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. ”
“She had been looking all along for a friend, and it took her a while to discover that a lover was not a comrade and could never be - for a woman. And that no one would ever be that version of herself which she sought to reach out to and touch with an ungloved hand. There was only her own mood and whim, and if that was all there was, she decided to turn the naked hand toward it, discover it and let others become as intimate with their own selves as she was.”
“There, in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. For loneliness assumed the absence of other people, and the solitude she found in that desperate terrain had never admitted the possibility of other people. She wept then. Tears for the deaths of the littlest things: the castaway shoes of children; broken stems of marsh grass battered and drowned by the sea; prom photographs of dead women she never knew; wedding rings in pawnshop windows; the tiny bodies of Cornish hens in a nest of rice.”
“Every now and then she looked around for tangible evidence of his having ever been there. Where were the butterflies? the blueberries? the whistling reed? She could find nothing, for he had left nothing but his stunning absence.”
“You looked at me then like you knew me, and I thought it really was Eden, and I couldn't take your eyes in because I was loving the hoof marks on your cheeks.”
“You been gone too long, Sula.
Not too long, but maybe too far.”
“ It hit her like a sledgehammer, and it was then that she knew what to feel. A liquid trail of hate flooded her chest.
Knowing that she would hate him long and well filled her with pleasant anticipation, like when you know you are going to fall in love with someone and you wait for the happy signs. Hating BoyBoy, she could get on with it, and have the safety, the thrill, the consistency of that hatred as long as she wanted or needed it to define and strengthen her or protect her from routine vulnerabilities.”
“But Jude,' she would say, 'you knew me. All those days and years, Jude, you knew me. My ways and my hands and how my stomach folded and how we tried to get Mickey to nurse and how about that time when the landlord said...but you said...and I cried, Jude. You knew me and had listened to the things I said in the night, and heard me in the bathroom and laughed at my raggedy girdle and I laughed too because I knew you too, Jude. So how could you leave me when you knew me?”
“the loss pressed down on her chest and came up into her throat. it was a fine cry -- loud and long -- but it had no bottom and no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”
“The real hell of Hell is that it is forever.' Sula said that. She said doing anything forever and ever was hell.”
“Being good to somebody is just like being mean to somebody. Risky. You don't get nothing for it.”
“It would be ten years before they saw each other again, and their meeting would be thick with birds.”
“O Lord, Sula,” she cried, “girl, girl, girlgirlgirl.”
It was a fine cry—loud and long—but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”
“...Sula was wrong. Hell ain't things lasting forever. Hell is change." Not only did men leave and children grow up and die, but even the misery didn't last. One day she wouldn't even have that. This very grief that had twisted her into a curve on the floor and flayed her would be gone. She would lose that too.
Why, even in hate here I am thinking of what Sula said.”
“It was not death or dying that frightened him, but the unexpectedness of both. In sorting it all out, he hit on the notion that if one day a year were devoted to it, everybody could get it out of the way and the rest of the year would be safe and free. In this manner he instituted National Suicide Day.”
“They held hands and knew that only the coffin would lie in the earth; the bubbly laughter and the press of fingers in the palm would stay aboveground forever. At first, as they stood there, their hands were clenched together. They relaxed slowly until during the walk back home their fingers were laced in as gentle a clasp as that of any two young girlfriends trotting up the road on a summer day wondering what happened to butterflies in the winter.”
“It had been the longest time since she had had a rib-scraping laugh. She had forgotten how deep and down it could be. So different from the miscellaneous giggles and smiles she had learned to be content with these past few years.”
“I sure did live in this world.'
'Really? What have you got to show for it?'
'Show? To who? I got my mind. And what goes on in it. Which is to say, I got me.'
'Lonely, ain't it?'
'Yes. But my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you.”
“When she awoke there was a melody in her head she could not identify or recall ever hearing before. 'Perhaps I made it up,' she thought. Then it came to her - the name of the song and all its lyrics just as she had heard it many times before. She sat on the edge of the bed thinking, 'There aren't any more new songs and I have sung all the ones there are. I have sung them all. I have sung all the songs there are.”
“they ran in the sunlight, creating their own breeze which pressed their dresses into their damp skin. Reaching a kind of square of four locked trees which promised cooling; they flung themselves into the shade to taste their lip sweat and contemplate the wildness that had come upon them so suddenly”
“Much handled things are always soft(27).”
“The narrower their lives, the wider their hips.”
“This was not her Ambrose, she thought at first. But then, apparently, it was.”
“My homeland is about as ugly as a place gets. There's nothing in south Georgia, people will tell you, except straight, lonely roads, one-horse towns, sprawling farms, and tracts of planted pines. It’s flat, monotonous, used-up, hotter than hell in summer and cold enough in winter that orange trees won’t grow. No mountains, no canyons, no rocky streams, no waterfalls. The rivers are muddy, wide and flat, like somebody’s feet. The coastal plain lacks the stark grace of the desert or the umber panache of the pampas”
“Nichtsdestotrotz habet Ihr starke Hände, ein Messer und eine Pistole, und es ist nicht schwer, ein Grab zu schaufeln.”
“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”
“He felt the muscle of his heart rip apart, and there was nothing he could do but watch it bleed all over the dreams he had never meant to have.”
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