Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.
Though the contradictions of war seem sudden and simultaneous, history stalks before it strikes. Something tolerated soon becomes something good.
Even as a child, even as my blood-past was drained from me, I understood that if I were strong enough to accept it, I was being offered a second history.
Trees, for example, carry the memory of rainfall. In their rings we read ancient weather—storms, sunlight, and temperatures, the growing seasons of centuries. A forest shares a history, which each tree remembers even after it has been felled.
...when we say we're looking for a spiritual adviser, we're really looking for someone to tell us what to do with our bodies. Decisions of the flesh. We forget to learn from pleasure as well as pain.
And she knew for the first time that someone can wire your skin in a single evening, and that love arrives not by accumulating to a moment, like a drop of water focused on the tip of a branch - it is not the moment of bringing your whole life to another - but rather, it is everything you leave behind. At that moment.Even that night, the night he touched one inch of her in the dark, how simply Avery seemed to accept the facts - that they were on the edge of lifelong happiness and, therefore, inescapable sorrow. It was as if, long ago, a part of him had broken off inside, and now finally, he recognised the dangerous fragment that had been floating in his system, causing him intermittent pain over the years. As if he could now say of that ache: Ah. It was you.
The mainland can stretch until it breaks at the weakest points, and those weaknesses are called faults. Each island represented a victory and a defeat: it had either pulled itself free or pulled too hard and found itself alone. Later, as these islands grew older, they turned their misfortune into virtue, learned to accept their cragginess, their misshapen coasts, ragged where they'd been torn. They acquired grace.
There was currant toast squishy with butter, caramel-marshmallow squares, strawberry boats oozing custard, chocolate exclairs that exploded with cream when the cats bit into them with their little white teeth and-- a special treat for Pleasant-- a pie made from thick slices of Bramley apple, with just the right amount of tangy in the tangy-sweet.
It's not a person's depth you must discover, but their ascent. Find their path from depth to ascent.
When my parents were liberated, four years before I was born, they found that the ordinary world outside the camp had been eradicated. There was no more simple meal, no thing was less than extraordinary: a fork, a mattress, a clean shirt, a book. Not to mention such things that can make one weep: an orange, meat and vegetables, hot water. There was no ordinariness to return to, no refuge from the blinding potency of things, an apple screaming its sweet juice.
If love wants you; if you've been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills; with feathers and scales; with warm blood and cold.
Truth grows gradually in us, like a musician who plays a piece again and again until suddenly he hears it for the first time
The shadow-past is shaped by everything that never happened. Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst. A biography of longing. It steers us like magnetism, a spirit torque. This is how one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes. By love that closes its mouth before calling a name.