“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”
“Scars are just another kind of memory.”
“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”
“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory....Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”
“Izz, I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past.”
“Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it's done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk.”
“But how? How can you just get over these things, darling?...You've had so much strife but you're always happy. How do you do it?'
'I choose to...I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.'
'But it's not that easy.'
He smiled that Frank smile. 'Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things...I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic! No' - his voice became sober- 'we always have a choice. All of us.”
“Perhaps when it comes to it, no one is just the worst thing they ever did.”
“History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent.”
“We live with the decisions we make, Bill. That’s what bravery is. Standing by the consequences of your mistakes.”
“You don’t think ahead in years or months: you think about this hour, and maybe the next. Anything else is speculation.”
“Sometimes it's good to leave the past in the past.”
“No one ever has or ever will travel quite the same path on earth...”
“It is a luxury to do something that serves no practical purpose: the luxury of civilization.”
“Then he remembered Ralph's words--"no point in fighting your war over and over until you get it right.”
“The oceans never stop ... the wind never finishes. Sometimes it disappears, but only to gather momentum from somewhere else, returning to fling itself at the island ... Existence here is on the scale of giants. Time is in the millions of years; rocks which from a distance look like dice cast against the shore are boulders hundreds of feet wide, licked round by millennia ...”
“That's how life goes on - protected by the silence that anesthetizes shame.”
“Very slowly, he turned a full circle, taking in the nothingness of it all. It seemed his lungs could never be large enough to breathe in this much air, his eyes could never see this much space, nor could he near the full extent of the rolling, roaring ocean. For the briefest moment, he had no edges.”
“When it comes to their kids, parents are all just instinct and hope. And fear.”
“Humans withdraw to their homes, and surrender the night to the creatures that own it: the crickets, the owls, the snakes. A world that hasn't changed for hundreds of thousands of years wakes up, and carries on as if the daylight and the humans and the changes to the landscape have all been an illusion.”
“There are times when the ocean is not the ocean - not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: fierceness on a scale only gods can summon.”
“Putting down the burden of the lie has meant giving up the freedom of the dream.”
“Being over there changes a man. Right and wrong don't look so different anymore to some.”
“I promised to spend my life with you. I still want to spend my life with you. Izz, I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past.”
“Coming back last time to the house she grew up in, Isabel had been reminded of the darkness that had descended with her brothers' deaths, how loss had leaked all over her mother's life like a stain. As a fourteen-year-old, Isabel had searched the dictionary. She knew that if a wife lost a husband, there was a whole new word to describe who she was: she was now a widow. A husband became a widower. But if a parent loss a child, there was no special label for their grief. They were still just a mother or a father, even if they no longer had a son or daughter. That seemed odd. As to her own status, she wondered whether she was still technically a sister, now that her adored brothers had died.”
“Sometimes, you're the one who strikes it lucky. Sometimes, it's the other poor bastard who's left with the short straw, and you just have to shut up and get on with it.”
“Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”
“If a lighthouse looks like it's in a different place, it's not the lighthouse that's moved.”
“Such a mysterious business, motherhood. How brave a woman must be to embark on it.”
“When he wakes sometimes from dark dreams of broken cradles, and compasses without bearings, he pushes the unease down, lets the daylight contradict it. And isolation lulls him with the music of the lie.”
“The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore. Sometimes it was remorse and then we were sore at ourselves. But the more we fought and tried to have our own way, the worse matters got. As in war, the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph were short-lived.”
“Now, how did you know that I was going to propose?" I asked in genuine wonder. "Don't women always know? Do you suppose any woman in the world was ever taken unawares?”
“Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?”
“Love and time, those are the only two things in all the world and all of life that cannot be bought, but only spent.”
“Only a sense of lightness, giddy and dizzying, like flight—of a burden that didn't belong to me being lifted.
Suddenly I knew the truth and the lights surrounding me exploded.
I am free.”
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