30+ quotes from The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

Quotes from The Hundred Secret Senses

Amy Tan ·  406 pages

Rating: (36.4K votes)


“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that's like saying you can never change your fate. Isn't that true?”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Sure I loved him - too much. And he loved me, only not enough. I just want someone who thinks I'm number one in his life. I'm not willing to accept emotional scraps anymore.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I love and am loved, fully and freely, nothing expected, more than enough received.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I learned to make things not matter, to put a seal on my hopes and place them on a high shelf, out of reach. And by telling myself that there was nothing inside those hopes anyway, I avoided the wounds of deep disappointment. The pain was no worse than the quick sting of a booster shot. And yet thinking about this makes me ache again. How is it that as a child I knew I should have been loved more? Is everyone born with a bottomless emotional resevoir? ”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“too much happiness always overflowed into tears of sorrow.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Don't think too much. That makes you believe you have more choices than you do. Then you mind becomes confused.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Love is tricky. It is never mundane or daily. You can never get used to it. You have to walk with it, then let it walk with you. You can never balk. It moves you like the tide. It takes you out to sea, then lays you on the beach again. Today's struggling pain is the foundation for a certain stride through the heavens. You can run from it but you can never say no. It includes everyone.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“It was a distorted form of inverse logic: If hopes never come true, then hope for what you don't want.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“When you already believe something, how can you suddenly stop? When you are a loyal friend, how can you no longer be one?”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“It isn't that i consider them brave, they are reckless, unpredictable, maddeningly unreliable. But like rogue waves and shooting stars, they also add thrills to a life that otherwise would be as regular as the tide, as routine as day passing into night.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“. . .the world is not a place but the vastness of the soul. And the soul is nothing more than love, limitless, endless, all that moves us toward knowing what is true. . .And believing in ghosts - that's believing that love never dies. If people we love die, then they are lost only to our ordinary senses. If we remember, we can find them anytime with our hundred secret senses. ”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Being able to restrain my emotions isn’t a great victory—it’s the pitiful proof of lost love.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“A few times I invited Ba to visit me from the World of Yin. But other yin friends tell me he is stuck somewhere else, a foggy place where people believe their lies are true.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I imagine a hundred Chinese Icaruses, molding wings out of earwax. You can't stop people from wishing.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Life's always a big fucking compromise. You don't always get what you want, no matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how good you are. That's a myth. We're all hanging in the best way we can.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I think Kwan intended to show me the world is not a place but the vastness of the soul. And the soul is nothing more than love, limitless, endless, all that moves us toward knowing what is true.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Too much happiness always overflows into tears of sorrow.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“And all that talk about the breakup being good for us- who am I trying to fool? I'm cut loose, untethered, not belonging to anything or anybody.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Every word, every gesture is now loaded with ambiguity, nothing can be taken at face value. We speak to each other from a safe distance, pretending all the years we soaped each other's backs and pissed in front of each other never happened. We don't use any of the baby talk, code words, or short hand gestures that had been our language of intimacy, the proof that we belonged to each other.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I now believe truth lies not in logic but in hope, both past and future. I believe hope can surprise you. It can survive the odds against it, all sorts of contradictions, and certainly any skeptic's rationale of relying on proof through fact.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I think Kwan intended to show me the world is not a place but the vastness of the soul. And the soul is nothing more than love, limitless, endless, all that moves us toward knowing what is true. I once thought love was supposed to be nothing but bliss. I now know it is also worry and grief, hope and trust. And believing in ghosts--that's believing that love never dies. If people we love die, then they are lost only to our ordinary senses. If we remember, we can find them anytime with our hundred secret senses.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“as to our hopes, our dreams, our secret desires, we couldn't talk about those. They were to vague, too frightening, too important. And so they stayed inside us, growing like a cancer, a body eating away at itself. In retrospect I'm amazed how long our marriage lasted.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“The next world is 'segregated'? You can go to the World of Yin only if you're Chinese?"
"No-no! Miss Banner, she not Chinese, she go to Yin World. All depend what you love, what you believe. You love Jesus, go Jesus House. You love Allah, go Allah Land. You love sleep, go sleep."
"What if you don't believe in anything for sure before you die?"
"Then you go big place, like Disneyland, many places can go try--you like, you decide. No charge, of course.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I think about our marriage. The weft of our seventeen years together was so easily torn apart. Our love was as ordinary as the identical welcome mats found in the suburbs we grew up in. The fact that our bodies, our thoughts, our hearts had once moved in rhythm with each other had only fooled us into thinking we were special.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“Now that our marriage is over, I know what love is. It's a trick on the brain, the adrenal glands releasing endorphins. It floods the cells that transmit worry and better sense, drowns them with biochemical bliss. You can know all these things about love, yet it remains irresistible, as beguiling as the floating arms of long sleep.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“I ask myself, How can I relax? How can I let go of everything that's happened? You need complete trust to do that.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“We listened patiently to Lester, words skittering out of his mouth like cartoon dogs on fresh-waxed linoleum, frantically going nowhere.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


“But to pretend that all was right with the world, I first had to know what was wrong.”
― Amy Tan, quote from The Hundred Secret Senses


About the author

Amy Tan
Born place: in Oakland, California, The United States
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