Quotes from What We Saw

Aaron Hartzler ·  336 pages

Rating: (5.9K votes)


“Remember,” Mr. Johnston says, “nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Why does everybody say ‘feminist’ that way?” “What way?” “The way Dooney kept saying ‘herpes’ after health class last year. Like it’s this terrible, unspeakable thing.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Sometimes I get the feeling [my parents have] asked me to hold this big invisible secret for them, like a backpack full of rocks--all these things they don't want to know about themselves. I'm supposed to wear it as I hike up this trail toward my adulthood. They're already at the summit of Full Grown Mountain. They're waiting for me to get there and cheering me on, telling me I can do it, and sometimes scolding and asking why I'm not hiking any faster or why I'm not having more fun along the way. I know I'm not supposed to talk about this backpack full of their crazy, but sometimes I really wish we could all stop for a second. Maybe they could walk down the trail from the top and meet me. We could unzip that backpack, pull out all of those rocks, and leave the ones we no longer need by the side of the trail. It'd make the walk a lot easier. Maybe then my shoulders wouldn't get so tense when Dad lectures me about money or Mom starts a new diet she saw on the cover of a magazine at the grocery store.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“That day, in the warm sun, surrounded by the solid proof of an ancient realm, I let go of forming theories. I only know that, given enough time, this wound would scar over. The layers of my life will slowly cover and fill the gulf cleft through my heart. But deep in the bedrock of who I am is a record of these things I will carry with me, a new map whose boundaries have forever altered the way I view the world.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“will be boys’ is what people say to excuse guys when they do something awful.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw



“The closer you look, the more you see.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Some moments should only be recorded in our hearts.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“What about me?” I choke. “Do you owe me something? I was just as wasted as she was. Why do I get driven home and kept safe but not her? Why not just leave me to Dooney and Deacon and the boys in the basement?”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Turns out any ordinary place can be made extraordinary by the presence of the right person.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“I want to tell her that I don’t think a book from the Bronze Age is a good enough reason to relegate women to the role of “helpers” for all time.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw



“Words have meanings.When we call something a theory in science, it means something. Reggie, when you say that you 'can't help yourself' if a girl is wasted, that means something,too.You're saying that our natural state as men is 'rapist'.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Given enough time, everything changes. Maybe this sense of how fragile our connections are is what makes us obsessed with saving them—writing them down, taking pictures, recording them in tweets, documenting them with status updates and videos. It is clear to me now that when the earth does move beneath our feet—when our hearts slam and scrape and break apart—when we barely survive the flood, we take precautions. We”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“There’s no going back. Once you know something for sure, the only path through it is forward. Alfred”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Don't judge a book by its cover. Mom is always saying that, but most of the time, I think that's exactly what people are asking us to do: Please. Judge me by my cover. Judge me by exactly what I've worked so hard to show you.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Fear is the reason I can’t let this go, either. It’s the reason Rachel needs to believe that whatever happened is Stacey’s fault. It’s why she insists that we’re all very different from Stacey. Because the truth is that if it could happen to Stacey, it could happen to any of us. By”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw



“How can they walk around in the hallways at school like nothing happened? Like they didn’t witness—” My voice dissolves into tears again. “A crime?” Lindsey says without moving. “Yeah.” “They don’t think it was a crime,” she says quietly.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Learning how to walk away uses a different set of muscles, new ones that I haven’t yet developed.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“You’re doing the right thing,” she says. “Doesn’t feel like it.” I wipe my eyes. I am so tired of crying. She nods, reading back over her list and flipping to a new page in her steno pad. “Sometimes, that’s how you know,” she says without looking up. “That’s how you know.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Of course, to them, we're just kids.
One day, they say, we'll understand.
But I wonder if maybe I'm the one who does understand.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“What bothered me most was how Will didn’t get it. He didn’t understand why I was upset that he was telling these girls they don’t measure up. He acts like he has some natural right to tell them they should look a certain way. Why? Because he’s a dude?” “It’s”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw



“Sometimes inspiration requires looking at things from a different point of view.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“We try to hold on to the things we think will keep us safe and maintain that place we can point to an say, This is normal. Adele and her stockpile of provisions, Connie Bonine and her storefront of all that Willie left behind, Mom and her gallery wall, Dad and his antique flip-screen camera, the coral on my nightstand: all of these are records of an era past; the symbols we cling to that we might explain our present and chart our changes; the fossils of a secret history we carry deep within us, etched into the bedrock of our beings.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“But mostly Stacey likes the guys with long hair and trench coats. They’ve got the weed, after all. I”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“The words on my tongue disappear. My first instinct is to run my fingers through his hair, but I stop my hand midair. It floats over his head for a second, before I press it against my lips, and slowly drop it back into the grass. I relax against the tree, attempting to breathe normally.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw



“Boys will be boys' is what people say to excuse guys when they do something awful.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Not being able to say no isn't the same as saying yes.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Nothing is exactly as it appears.
The closer you look, the more you see.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


“Why do you like birds so much?' I asked.
A look of pity flitted over her face, followed by a smile. 'Because they can fly, silly.”
― Aaron Hartzler, quote from What We Saw


About the author

Aaron Hartzler
Born place: in The United States
Born date February 16, 2018
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