Her Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 108402 quotes )
There Rhoda sits staring at the blackboard,' said Louis, 'in theschoolroom, while we ramble off, picking here a bit of thyme, pinching here a leaf of southernwood while Bernard tells a story. Her shoulder-blades meet across her back like the wings of a smallbutterfly. And as she stares at the chalk figures, her mind lodgesin those white circles, it steps through those white loops intoemptiness, alone. They have no meaning for her. She has no answerfor them. She has no body as the others have. And I, who speakwith an Australian accent, whose father is a banker in Brisbane, donot fear her as I fear the others.
There was a moment, however, when the King and I were looking directly into each other's eyes, and in that instant I had a revelation that takes much longer to explain than to experience. Here am I, I reflected, being decorated as a hero, and in the eyes of everybody here I am indeed a hero; but I know that my heroic act was rather a dirty job I did when I was dreadfully frightened; I could just as easily have muddled it and been ingloriously killed. But it doesn't much matter, because people seem to need heroes; so long as I don't lose sight of the truth, it might as well be me as anyone else. And here before me stands a marvellously groomed little man who is pinning a hero's medal on me because some of his forebears were Alfred the Great, and Charles the First, and even King Arthur, for anything I know to the contrary. But I shouldn't be surprised if inside he feels as puzzled about the fate that brings him here as I.
There are things I need to ask her. Not what happened, back then in the time I lost, because now I know that. I need to ask her why. If she remembers. Perhaps she’s forgotten the bad things, what she said to me, what she did. Or she does remember them, but in a minor way, as if remembering a game, or a single prank, a single trivial secret, of the kind girls tell and then forget. She will have her own version. I am not the centre of her story, because she herself is that. But I could give her something you can never have, except from another person: what you look like from outside. A reflection. This is part of herself I could give back to her. We are like the twins in old fables, each of whom has been given half a key.
Her eyes weren't blinking. There was still something almost dead in them, something very far away. She seemed to be seeing all the way through to the back of him and beyond, out into the cold space of the future in which they would both soon be dead, out into the nothingness that Lalitha and his mother and his father had already passed into, and yet she was looking straight into his eyes, and he could feel her getting warmer by the minute. And so he stopped looking at her eyes and started looking into them, returning their look before it was too late, before this connection between life and what came after life was lost, and let her see all the vileness inside him, all the hatreds of two thousand solitary nights, while the two of them were still with the void in which the sum of everything they'd ever said or done, every pain they'd inflicted, every joy they'd shared, would weigh less than the smallest feather on the wind.
Her beauty is not just—or even primarily—physical. In her face, I see her wisdom, her compassion, her courage, her eternal glory. This other beauty, this spiritual beauty—which is the deepest truth of her—sustains me in times of fear and despair, as other truths might sustain a priest enduring martyrdom at the hands of a tyrant. I see nothing blasphemous in equating her grace with the mercy of God, for the one is a reflection of the other. The selfless love that we give to others to the point of being willing to sacrifice our lives for them, is all the proof I need that human beings are not mere animals of self-interest; we carry within us a divine spark, and if we chose to recognize it, our lives have dignity, meaning, hope. In her it is spark is bright, a light that heals rather than wounds me.
Neither loss of father, nor loss of mother, dear as she was to Mr Thornton, could have poisoned the remembrance of the weeks, the days, the hours, when a walk of two miles, every step of which was pleasant, as it brought him nearer and nearer to her, took him to her sweet presence - every step of which was rich, as each recurring moment that bore him away from her made him recal some fresh grace in her demeanour, or pleasant pungency in her character.
Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true. She lived through the war. In 1959 she came to America. She now lives in a condo in Miami, a tiny French woman with white hair, with a daughter and a grand-daughter. She keeps herself to herself and smiles rarely, as if the weight of memory keeps her from finding joy. Or that's a lie. Actually the Gestapo picked her up during a border crossing in 1943, and they left her in a meadow. First she dug her own grave, then a single bullet to the back of the skull. Her last thought, before that bullet, was that she was four months' pregnant, and that if we do not fight to create a future there will be no future for any of us. There is an old woman in Miami who wakes, confused, from a dream of the wind blowing the wildflowers in a meadow. There are bones untouched beneath the warm French earth which dream of a daughter's wedding. Good wine is drunk. The only tears shed are happy ones.
There was a warmth of fury in his last phrases. He meant she loved him more than he her. Perhaps he could not love her. Perhaps she had not in herself that which he wanted. It was the deepest motive of her soul, this self-mistrust. It was so deep she dared neither realise nor acknowledge. Perhaps she was deficient. Like an infinitely subtle shame, it kept her always back. If it were so, she would do without him. She would never let herself want him. She would merely see.
There was religion, then there was God. Lianne wanted to disbelieve. Disbelief was the line of travel that led to clarity of thought and purpose. Or was this simply another form of superstition? She wanted to trust in the forces and processes of the natural world, this only, perceptible reality and scientific endeavor, men and women alone on earth. She knew there was no conflict between science and God. Take one with the other. But she didn't want to. There were the scholars and philosophers she'd studied in school, books she'd read at thrilling dispatches, personal, making her shake at times, and there was the sacred art she'd always loved. Doubters created this work, and ardent believers, and those who'd doubted and then believed, and she was free to think about doubt and believe simultaneously. But she didn't want to. God would crowd her, make her weaker. God would be a presence that remained unimaginable. She wanted this only, to snuff out the pulse of the shaky faith she'd held for much of her life.
Where my soul went during that swoon I cannot tell. Whatever she saw, or wherever she travelled in her trance on that strange night she kept her own secret; never whispering a word to Memory, and baffling imagination by an indissoluble silence. She may have gone upward, and come in sight of her eternal home, hoping for leave to rest now, and deeming that her painful union with matter was at last dissolved. While she so deemed, an angel may have warned her away from heaven's threshold, and, guiding her weeping down, have bound her, once more, all shuddering and unwilling, to that poor frame, cold and wasted, of whose companionship she was grown more than weary. I know she re-entered her prison with pain, with reluctance, with a moan and a long shiver. The divorced mates, Spirit and Substance, were hard to re-unite: they greeted each other, not in an embrace, but a racking sort of struggle.