There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Do you ever just put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that's what love is like; everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but for some reason you just keep going.
When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.
If every life is a river, then it's little wonder that we do not even notice the changes that occur until we are far out in the darkest sea. One day you look around and nothing is familiar, not even your own face. My name once meant daughter, grandaughter, friend, sister, beloved. Now those words mean only what their letters spell out; Star in the night sky. Truth in the darkness.I have crossed over to a place where I never thought I'd be. I am someone I would have never imagined. A secret. A dream. I am this, body and soul. Burn me. Drown me. Tell me lies. I will still be who I am.
Still anyone who trusts a serpent deserves its bite. The wise see a creature for what it is, not what it says it may be.
My mother was teaching me that the inside of something was not necessarily its outside. Always look carefully, she told me. Look with more than your eyes.
But what we are given is taken as well, so that we know God's glory comes to us from His will alone.
She knew it the way people say they know they are about to be hit by lightning, yet remain powerless to run, unable to avoid their fate. She panicked, as anyone might have when disparate parts of her life were about to crash into each other, certain to leave a path of anguish and debris. It was true that devotion could be lost as quickly as it was found, which was why some people insisted that love letters be written in ink. How easy it was for even the sweetest words to evaporate, only to be rewritten as impulse and infatuation might dictate. How unfortunate that love could not be taught or trained, like a seal or a dog. Instead it was a wolf on the prowl, with a mind of its own, and it made its own way, undeterred by the damage done. Love like this could turn honest people into liars and cheats, as it now did…
But in battle you cannot tell another when it is his time to enter the World-to-Come, nor is it possible to keep any man in this world when he wishes to leave it behind.
Still, she knows one thing for certain: never judge a relationship unless you are the one wrapped up in its arms.
Helplessness and anger make for predictable behavior: Children are certain to shove each other and pull hair, teenagers will call each other names and cry, and grown women who are sisters will say words so cruel that each syllable will take on the form of a snake, although such a snake often circles in on itself to eat its own tail once the words are said aloud.
I could hardly get a boy to look at me. All right, they'd look, they'd even take me out, but no one asked for a second date. I was too nasty, a real wise guy, and all the boys could tell what my rotten disposition was. Deep down, I wanted a commitment with a capital C. To get anywhere with me, a boy would have to sign his undying loyalty with his own blood.
Sometimes they would sit in the parlor together, both reading – in entirely separate worlds, to be sure, but joined somehow. When this happened, other people in the family couldn't bring themselves to disturb them. All that could be heard in the parlor was the sound of pages, turning.
He started to look at me in a manner I recognized: it was the way I looked at a new book, one I had never read before, one that surprised me with all it had to say.
Shelby watched the books burn. She wonders if words are pouring down on other people's houses,sad words, like beast and mourn and sorrow and mother.
She allowed me to understand I'd done everything I could for her, and that I, and everyone who loved her, had to step away and go on living.Now I know what she wanted from me on the day she told me she was afraid. It was exactly what I wanted when I had cancer and I thought I was going to die. I should have sat down next to her, put my arms around her, and told her that I loved her. That's all anyone wants. It took me a long time to figure this out. It's a complicated human puzzle. But it's never too late to know that love is all you need.
Jill and I have known each other our whole lives. One house separates our houses but we act as if it doesn't exist. We met before we were born and we'll probably still know each other after we die. At least, that's the way we're planning it.
Some things, when they change, never do return to the way they once were. Butterflies for instance, and women who've been in love with the wrong man too often.
I do not know if he had a name, but I called him North, an appellation I think Beck would have approved of, for it was the name the Dutch called the Hudson River when they first came here, when men set to changing the world in their image, and gave all the wild things their own names.
It was the sort of beauty you feel so deeply it becomes contagious and somehow makes you feel beautiful too.
From the time I could read, I found solace in my father's library...At the ages of ten and eleven and twelve I would have preferred to remain in the library...
Perhaps I was drawn to stories in which people found their true desires because I was a stranger to myself.
Life was beautiful, everyone knew that, but it was also bitter and bleak and unfair as hell and where did that leave a person? On the outs with the rest of the world. Someone who sat alone in the cafeteria, reading, escaping from his hometown simply by turning the page.
Because we were Russian, sadness came naturally to us. But so did reading. In my family, a book was a life raft.
Pain was something to get used to, to inure yourself against. I would rather hurt myself than be hurt by someone else, and so I took up this practice with a sense of purpose and without remorse.
He carried so much suffering that it radiated out in waves. Sorrow is like that: whenever a person runs, it comes after him; it leaves an endless trail of pain.
It was a miracle to live as birds do, except for one thing: anyone seen in flight would surely be captured, perhaps even shot down like a crow flying above a cornfield. It's always dangerous to be different, to appear as a monster in most people's eyes, even from a distance.