“Hollowness: that I understand. I'm starting to believe that there isn't anything you can do to fix it. That's what I've taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”
“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”
“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”
“it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.”
“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.”
“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”
“Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.
(This is a reference to an E.E. Cummings poem within the author's work)”
“When did you become so weak?” I don’t know. I don’t know where that strength went, I don’t remember losing it. I think that over time it got chipped away, bit by bit, by life, by the living of it.”
“There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion.”
“I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.”
“I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I'm not even brave enough for that”
“But I did become sadder, and sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them.”
“let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things—their looks and their role as mothers.”
“I’m playing at real life instead of actually living it.”
“And I’ve just got to let myself feel the pain, because if I don’t, if I keep numbing it, it’ll never really go away.”
“I am not the girl I used to be. I am no longer desirable, I’m off-putting in some way. It’s not just that I’ve put on weight, or that my face is puffy from the drinking and the lack of sleep; it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.”
“A tiding of magpies: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told”
“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts. Who was it said that following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”
“It's impossible to resist the kindness of strangers.”
“But then I think, this happens sometimes, doesn’t it? People you have a history with, they won’t let you go, and as hard as you might try, you can’t disentangle yourself, can’t set yourself free. Maybe after a while you just stop trying.”
“Sometimes I catch myself trying to remember the last time I had meaningful physical contact with another person, just a hug or a heartfelt squeeze of my hand, and my heart twitches.”
“Beautiful sunshine, cloudless skies, no one to play with, nothing to do. Living like this, the way I’m living at the moment, is harder in the summer when there is so much daylight, so little cover of darkness, when everyone is out and about, being flagrantly, aggressively happy. It’s exhausting, and it makes you feel bad if you’re not joining in.”
“I have to find a way of making myself happy, I have to stop looking for happiness elsewhere. It’s true,”
“He’s a master at it, making me feel as though everything is my fault, making me feel worthless.”
“It’s ridiculous, when I think about it. How did I find myself here? I wonder where it started, my decline; I wonder at what point I could have halted it. Where did I take the wrong turn?”
“It’s impossible to resist the kindness of strangers. Someone who looks at you, who doesn’t know you, who tells you it’s OK, whatever you did, whatever you’ve done: you suffered, you hurt, you deserve forgiveness.”
“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl . . . Three for a girl. I’m stuck on three, I just can’t get any further. My head is thick with sounds, my mouth thick with blood. Three for a girl. I can hear the magpies—they’re laughing, mocking me, a raucous cackling. A tiding. Bad tidings. I can see them now, black against the sun. Not the birds, something else. Someone’s coming. Someone is speaking to me. Now look. Now look what you made me do.”
“it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.”
“They’re what I lost, they’re everything I want to be.”
“Who's to say that once I run, I'll find that isn't enough? Who's to say I won't end up feeling exactly the way I do right now-not safe, but stifled? Maybe I'll want to run again, and again, and eventually I'll end up back on those old tracks, because there's nowhere left to go. Maybe. Maybe not. You have to take the risk, don't you”
“My power grew angry that it was confined to my petite frame and pulled against my taut skin. Growing bolder, it tore through my skin to lay flat against my outer edge. The glowing energy began to solidify against my flesh; it lengthened to mold itself to my frame and contained me in a transparent cocoon. I flexed my fingers against the waxy surface and began to panic. I was cut off from my coven now and could not feel their thoughts. I could see the panic on their faces as I fell onto my side to convulse.”
“Weakness, all the more dangerous for being combined with a sense of entitlement”
“Darkness doesn't have fingers that twist into my flesh.”
“She is one of these women who always carries a home with her, wherever she is.”
“She gazed toward the marsh that grew thicker, deeper, greener with approaching summer. Mosquitoes whined in there, breeding in the dark water. Alligators slid through it, silent death. It was a place where snakes could slither and bogs could suck the shoe right off your foot.
And it was a place, she thought, that went bright and beautiful with the twinkling of fireflies, where wildflowers thrived in the shade and the stingy light. Where an eagle could soar like a king.
There was no beauty without risk. No life without it.”
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