“Given enough time, you could convince yourself that loneliness was something better, that it was solitude, the ideal condition for reflection, even a kind of freedom.
Once you were thus convinced, you were foolish to open the door and let anyone in, not all the way in. You risked the hard-won equilibrium, that tranquility that you called peace”
“Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it. You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are. When the facts are too sharp, you can craft a cheerful version of the situation and cover the facts the way that you can covered a battered old four-slice toaster with a knitted cozy featuring images of kittens.”
“A scar is not always a flaw. Sometimes a scar may be redemption inscribed in the flesh, a memorial to something endured, to something lost.”
“There are people who want everybody dead. When you get over being surprised about that, you have a high amazement threshold.”
“These days, people spent too much time striving to understand their feelings - and then ended up with none that were genuine.”
“He, too, had been glassed-in for a long time, by choice. Now and then he had lifted a hammer to shatter through to something, but he had never struck the blow because he didn't know what he wanted on the other side of the glass.”
“When a knot gets to tight, you can always cut the rope”
“By their subtle reversal of all images, mirrors seemed to be windows to another world in opposistion to this one, a world where everything appeared familiar but was infact profoundly different”
“Maybe it was this: The name of a person marked for murder is just a name, but the face makes real the cost of violence, for if we have the nerve to look, we can see in any face our own vulnerability.”
“The killer walked with a light step that could be achieved only by someone not weighed down with a conscience, and went out into the night's embrace.”
“Gradually, however, she revealed a frustration with the willful ignorance that is an abiding human trait, an indignation at the cruelty that people visit upon one another. She might see the world as hopeless, but she believed it did not have to remain that way.”
“Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by a frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go.”
“Sudden falls can come to societies that know too little history or that have furnished their minds with easy one-note propaganda in place of the true complexity and terrible beauty of the storied past.”
“Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door. Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name.”
“I not only stole your past. I’ve already stolen your future.”
“Downstairs in the lounge, by the third pillar from the left, there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid, spinsterish face and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human iniquity and taken it all as in the day's work....where crime is concerned, she's the goods.”
“God,” said Benedict Fludd, “your God, that is, strides in and out of my life with no warning. One day he seems impossible—laughable, laughable—and the next, he is imperious.” He stopped. He said “It is like the phases of the moon, maybe. Or the seasons of the sphere we live on, rolling in and out of the light, skeleton trees one day, and then snow, and afterwards the bright green veil and after that the full heat and shining. Only it is neither regular nor predictable. And there are—others—who stride in, when he takes himself off. Who seem persuasive. Like Hindoo demons who are gods in their own terms.”
“Atlas gazed out, as he always did, into infinite space, wishing he could be part of it, even for one hour.”
“The sand looked so beautiful then, so many little individual grains in the light of the night, giving the watcher the childhood feeling of infinite things finally understood, the humiliating feeling of the watcher's nothingness.”
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