“If you wish, you may call me Rand Sedai.”
“I wonder if,” Nynaeve said, “we sometimes put the White Tower —as an institution— before the people we serve. I wonder if we let it become a goal in itself, instead of a means to help us achieve greater goals.”
“Devotion is important, Nynaeve. The White Tower protects and guides the world.”
“And yet, so many of us do it without families,” Nynaeve said. “Without love, without passion beyond our own particular interests. So even while we try to guide the world, we separate ourselves from it. We risk arrogance, Egwene. We always assume we know best, but risk making ourselves unable to fathom the people we claim to serve.”
“He felt something on his neck. Warmth.
He hesitated, then turned weary eyes toward the sky. Sunlight bathed his face. He gaped; it seemed so long since he’d seen pure sunlight. It shone down through a large break in the clouds, comforting, like the warmth of an oven baking a loaf of Adrinne’s thick sourdough bread.
Almen stood, raising a hand to shade his eyes. He took a deep, long breath, and smelled… apple blossoms? He spun with a start.
The apple trees were flowering.
That was plain ridiculous. He rubbed his eyes, but that didn’t dispel the image. They were blooming, all of them, white flowers breaking out between the leaves.
[...] What was happening? Apple trees didn’t blossom twice. Was he going mad?
Footsteps sounded softly on the path that ran past the orchard. Almen spun to find a tall young man walking down out of the foothills. He had deep red hair and he wore ragged clothing: a brown cloak with loose sleeves and a simple white linen shirt beneath. The trousers were finer, black with a delicate embroidery of gold at the cuff.
“Ho, stranger,” Almen said, raising a hand, not knowing what else to say, not even sure if he’d seen what he thought he’d seen. “Did you… did you get lost up in the foothills?”
The man stopped, turning sharply. He seemed surprised to find Almen there. With a start, Almen realized the man’s left arm ended in a stump.
The stranger looked about, then breathed in deeply. “No. I’m not lost. Finally. It feels like a great long time since I’ve understood the path before me.”
“Bloody ashes, woman. This isn't a metaphor for anything! It's just boots.”
“Small things were important. Secods were small things, and if you heaped enough of those on top of one another, they became a man's life.”
“So long as we do not depend on the facts entirely, incomplete knowledge is better than complete ignorance.
“Nobody walks a difficult path without stumbling now and again. It didn’t break you when you fell. That’s the important part.”
“The newest pups always blame the elders of the pack.”
“When change comes, you can scream and try to force things to stay the same. But you’ll usually end up getting trampled. However, if you can direct the changes, they can serve you.”
“It was hard to explain to students that there was a rule that trumped all of the others: Always trust your instincts.”
“Prudence is for those who intend to live long lives,”
“Noal nodded to one of the corridors 'These corridors are narrow. Good choke points. A man could stand there and only have to fight one or two at a time. He'd last maybe a few minutes. ...
'Thom, you're in no shape to fight. Mat, you're the one who's luck can find a way out. Neither of you can stay, but I can.”
“Respect is a thing earned and not demanded, Perrin Aybara.”
“When an officer runs by with a look like that on his face, you don’t ask if he needs help. You just follow!”
“That was a thing of wolves; they could know the past and the future, yet keep their attention on the hunt. Could he do the same? Allow himself to be consumed when needed, yet keep balance in other parts of his life?”
“He hadn’t asked to become a leader, but did that absolve him of responsibility? People needed him. The world needed him. And, with an understanding that cooled in him like molten rock forming into a shape, he realized that he wanted to lead. If someone had to be lord of these people, he wanted to do it himself. Because doing it yourself was the only way to see that it was done right.”
“Sweetbuns?” “Tradition among us Two Rivers folk.” “Never heard of that tradition.” “It’s very obscure.” “Ah, I see. And what did you do to those buns?” “Sprinklewort,” Mat said. “It’ll turn her mouth blue for a week, maybe two. And she won’t share the sweetbuns with anyone, except maybe her Warders. Joline is addicted to the things. She must have eaten seven or eight bags’ worth since we got to Caemlyn.” “Nice,” Thom said, knuckling his mustache. “Childish, though.” “I’m trying to get back to my basic roots,” Mat said. “You know, recapture some of my lost youth.”
“In war, as in farming, you sometimes had to step in and get knee-deep in the muck.”
“You never could tell what a man would do when he was drunk, even if that man was your own self.”
“It soon became obvious, even with9in the stedding, that the Pattern was grwoing frail. The sky darkened. Our dead appeared, standing in rings outside the broders of the stedding, looking in. Most troubingly, trees fell ill, and no song would heal them.
It was in this time of sorrows that I stepped up to the Great Stump. At first, I was forbidden, but my mother, covril, demanded I have my chance. I do not know wht sparked her change of heart, as she herself had argued quite decisvely for the opposing side. My hands shook. I would be the last speaker, and most seemed to have already made up their minds to open the Book of Translation. They considered me an afterthought.
And I knew that unless I spoke true, humanity would be left along to face the Shadow. In that moment, my nervousness fled. I felt only a stilness, a calm sense of purpose. I opened my mouth, and I began to speak.
-from The Dragon Reborn, by Loial, son of Arent son of Halan, of Stedding Shangtai”
“a victory of diplomacy did not come when everyone got what they wanted—that made everyone assume they’d gotten the better of her, which encouraged more extravagant demands. The trick is not to satisfy everyone, but to leave everyone feeling they reached the best possible result. They must be satisfied enough to do as you wish, yet dissatisfied enough to know that you bested them.”
“What was the good of acting out fake stories? Why not go live a few stories of your own?”
“The trick is not to satisfy everyone, but to leave everyone feeling they reached the best possible result.”
“Women were always happy for a chance to educate a boy when he was young; Mat thought they assumed they could educate him out of becoming a man if they tried hard enough.”
“Never choose the card a man wants you to. Mat should have realized that. It was one of the oldest cons in creation.”
“She grimaced, remembering one incarnation when she and he had been forced to grow old together, peacefully. Most boring life she’d ever known, though at the time—ignorant of her grander part in the Pattern—she’d been happy with it.”
“And so we begin the game that cannot be won,” Thom said, sliding the knife back into its sheath. “Courage to strengthen,” Noal whispered, stepping forward, holding up a lantern with a flickering flame. “Fire to blind. Music to dazzle. Iron to bind.” “And Matrim Cauthon,” Mat added. “To bloody even the odds.” He stepped through the doorway. Light”
“Defying the Dark One no matter the length of his shadow. We will live, that defiance said. We will love and we will hope.”
“If you ever meet a Malkieri,” Noal said, “you tell him Jain Farstrider died clean.” “I will, Jain,” Mat said. “May the light hold you.” Noal”
“It was easier to pretend at night. Some men lived their entire lives that way, preferring the curtains of darkness to the open windows of daylight, because they let them see the world all in shadow. It”
“I’ll always be there, Anna, in every ship you see sailing past. I’ll be the wind in its sail.”
“What was God doing with himself before the creation?”
“The wince and muffled oath he gave when he stepped into the water got a laugh out of her.
“It’s not that hot.”
“If I had a lobster, we’d boil it and eat it.”
“You set the temp.”
“So I did, and now, with no lobster in sight, we’re boiling my balls.”
He’d set it for her, she thought, so she could soak in the heat and the scent, turn off her mind with some relaxation program. She thought of what she’d overheard him saying to Mira, how he’d looked.
He needed this as much as she did.”
“Still, how I nearly felt. In the midst of all that looking.”
“Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we’re all chasing”
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