Michael Ondaatje Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 185 quotes)
When we are young we do not look into mirrors. It is when we are old, concerned with our name, our legend, what our lives will mean to the future. We become vain with the names we own, our claims to have been the first eyes, the strongest army, the cleverest merchant. It is when he is old that Narcissus wants a graven image of himself.
And as the music ended, he saw her, like a woman in a romance, pull from her cotton sleeve a note that she pushed into his breast pocket. It would burn there unread for another hour as he danced and talked with in-laws who did not matter to him, who got in the way, whose bloodline connection to him or his wife he could not care less about. Everything that was important to him existed suddenly in the potency of Marie-Neige. He could tell what the shallow freize of the wedding party that surrounded them would continue to be, and yet the one he knew best-he could not conceive how she would behave or respond to him in a week, or even in an hour. She had stepped into more than his arms for a dance, had waited for the precise seconds so it was possible and socially forgivable-the sunlit wedding procession, the eternal meal-and she had passed him a billet-doux as if they were within a Dumas. The note she had written said 'Good-bye.' Then it said 'Hello.' And then it reminded him that 'A message sent by pigeon to The Hague can sometimes change everything.' She had, like one of those partially villainous and always evolving heroines, turned his heart over on the wrong day.