30+ quotes from The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Quotes from The Age of Miracles

Karen Thompson Walker ·  294 pages

Rating: (73.9K votes)


“How much sweeter life would be if it all happened in reverse, if, after decades of disappointments, you finally arrived at an age when you had conceded nothing, when everything was possible.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“The only thing you have to do in this life is die," said Mrs. Pinsky..."everything else is a choice.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Later, I would come to think of those first days as the time when we learned as a species that we had worried over the wrong things: the hole in the ozone layer, the melting of the ice caps, West Nile and swine flu and killer bees. But I guess it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different—unimagined, unprepared for, unknown.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Some say that love is the sweetest feeling, the purest form of joy, but that isn't right. It's not love--it's relief.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I guess it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different—unimagined, unprepared for, unknown.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I've become a collector of stories about unlikely returns: the sudden reappearance of the long-lost son, the father found, the lovers reunited after forty years. Once in awhile, a letter does fall behind a post office desk and lie there for years before it's finally discovered and delivered to the rightful address. The seemingly brain-dead sometimes wake up and start talking. I'm always on the lookout for proof that what is done can sometimes be undone.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret?”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Doesn't every previous era feel like fiction once it's gone?”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Even beauty, in abundance, turns creepy.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“We were, on that day, no different from the ancients, terrified of our own big sky.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove. Our first flaws were emerging, but they were being corrected. Blurry vision could be fixed invisibly with the magic of the contact lens. Crooked teeth were pulled straight with braces. Spotty skin could be chemically cleared. Some girls were turning beautiful. A few boys were growing tall.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I liked the idea, how the past could be preserved, fossilized, in the stars. I wanted to think that somewhere on the other end of time, a hundred light years from then, someone else, some distant future creature, might be looking back at a preserved image of me and my father at that very moment in my bedroom.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“But the past is long, and the future is short.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I should have known by then that it's never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass; it's the ones you don't expect at all.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“And this one fact seemed to point to other facts and others still: Love frays and humans fail, time passes, eras end.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Maybe loneliness was imprinted in my genes, lying dormant for years but now coming into full bloom.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Sometimes death is proof of life. Sometimes decay points out a certain verve.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“It was a rough crossing, the one from childhood to the next life. And as with any other harsh journey, not everything survived.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“But doesn't every precious era feel like fiction once it's gone? After a while, certain vestigial sayings are all that remain. Decades after the invention of the automobile, for instance, we continue to warn each other not to 'put the cart before the horse'. So, too, we do still have 'day'dreams and 'night'mares, and the early-morning clock hours are still known colloquially (if increasing mysteriously) as 'the crack of dawn'. Similarly, even as they grew apart, my parents never stopped calling each other 'sweetheart'.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“But I guess every bygone era takes on a shade of myth.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I had grown into a worrier, a girl on constant guard for catastrophes large and small, for the disappointments I now sensed were hidden all around us right in plain sight.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“It was that time of life: Talents were rising to the surface, weaknesses were beginning to show through, we were finding out what kinds of people we would be. Some would turn out beautiful, some funny, some shy. Some would be smart, others smarter. THe chubby ones would likely always be chubby. THe beloved, I sensed, would be beloved for life. And I worried that loneliness might work that way, too. Maybe loneliness was imprinted in my genes, lying dormant for years but now coming into full bloom.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“They say that humans can read each other in a hundred subtle ways, that we can detect messages in the subtlest movements of a body, in the briefest expressions of a face, but somehow, on that day, I had communicated with amazing efficiency the exact opposite of what I most wanted in the world.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“Seth and I used to like to picture how our world would look to visitors someday, maybe a thousand years in the future, after all the humans are gone and all the asphalt has crumbled and peeled away. We wondered what thise visitors would find here. We liked to guess at what would last. Here the indentations suggesting a vast network of roads. Here the deposits of iron where giant steel structures once stood, shoulder to shoulder in rows, a city. Here the remnants of clothing and dishware, here the burial grounds, here the mounds of earth that were once people's homes.
But among the artifacts that will never be found - among the objects that will disintegrate long before anyone from elsewhere arrives - is a certain patch of sidewalk on a Californian street where once, on a dark afternoon in summer at the waning end of the year of the slowing, two kids knelt down together on the cold ground. We dipped our fingers in the wet cement, and we wrote the truest, simplest things we knew - our names, the date, and these words: We were here.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“After the slowing, every action required a little more force than it used to. The physics had changed. Take, for example, the slightly increased drag of a hand on a knife or a finger on a trigger. From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of a regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known--no law of physics can account for desire.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“A man should enjoy things if he can; he should spend his final days in the sun. Mine will be spent by a reading lamp.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“My grandfather liked any story in which the unlikely turned out to be true.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I think we lost something else when we lost that crisp rhythm, some general shared belief that we could count on certain things.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


“I kept quiet, but the knowledge gathered like a storm. I could see the future: My father wasn't coming back. And this one fact seemed to point to other facts and others still: Love frays and humans fail, time passes, eras end.”
― Karen Thompson Walker, quote from The Age of Miracles


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Karen Thompson Walker
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