Louise Murphy · 320 pages
Rating: (9.8K votes)
“God didn't come down and kill us. I don't see God shooting children and priests. None of us met God beating up Jews and shoving them into railroad cars. This is men doing the murdering. Talk to men about their evil, kill the evil men, but pray to God. You can't expect God to come down and do our living for us. We have to do that ourselves.”
“Do not struggle when the hook of a word pulls you into the air of truth and you cannot breathe.”
“There is much to love, and that love is what we are left with. When the bombs stop dropping, and the camps fall back to the earth and decay, and we are done killing each other, that is what we must hold. We can never let the world take our memories of love away, and if there are no memories, we must invent love all over again.”
“Make love to me,” she whispered. “If you make love to me then it is two of us. There is just one of him when he takes my blood, but we are two.” “We are two and more than two,” he whispered in her ear, and then he lifted her and carried her to the bed.”
“All those stars in that big streak that goes over the whole sky? You see them? Those are all the Jews who’ve died. All of them died and went up in the air, and the stars are the stars that they wore on their coats. The stars on the coats come off when their souls float up and the stars live up in the sky forever.”
“Two of the men tiptoed to the pile of brush. One of them”
“Help me,” said the Brown Sister. Her face”
“It is finished. The tale is told truthfully, and truth is no heavier, no more beautiful than lies. Yet there is something that makes me love the truth, and that love made me wander and worry until the truth was given to you, like a gift. For this in the end is what we have. The love of something. Wild ponies. A kiss salted by tears. The scent of raspberry syrup in a bottle. Oranges. Two lost children who come to your house in the dark forest. There is much to love, and that love is what we are left with. When the bombs stop dropping, and the camps fall back to the earth and decay, and we are done killing each other, that is what we must hold. We can never let the world take our memories of love away, and if there are no memories, we must invent love all over again. The wheel turns. Blue above, green below, we wander a long way, but love is what the cup of our soul contains when we leave the world and the flesh. This we will drink forever. I know. I am Magda. I am the witch.”
“The Germans have eaten the Gypsies of Poland for breakfast, child, and then they ate the Jews for lunch, but soon it will be supper."
"What will they eat then?"
"All the rest of the Poles.”
“Wiktor almost smiled. His suspicions were”
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
“Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?” NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll fuck it up and die.” So I took it apart.”
“Let's go." "We can't." "Why not?" "We're waiting for Godot.”
“It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.”
“[Ishmael] listened to the world turned silent by the snow; there was absolutely nothing to hear. The silence of the world roared steadily in his ears while he came to recognize that he did not belong here, he had no place in the tree any longer. Some much younger people should find this tree, hold to it tightly as their deepest secret as he and Hatsue had. For them it might stave off what he could not help but see with clarity: that the world was silent and cold and bare and that in this lay its terrible beauty.”
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