Thursday, September 04, 2008

We make messes of our lives.

All quotes from 'Vanishing Acts' by Jodi Picoult

"It is also a terrifying prospect that the relationships we use as the cornerstones of our personalities are not given by default but are a choice; that it’s all right to feel closer to a friend than we do a parent; that someone who’s betrayed us in the past might be the same person with whom we build a future."

"That’s the crazy thing about lies. You start to fall for them, yourself."

"I don’t think anyone has ever died of unrequited love. I wonder if I’ll be the first."

"Suddenly this is all too hard. I am tired of putting up walls. I want someone with the strength and the honesty to break them down."

"I want to keep that moment to myself: a silver dollar tucked into the hem of my mind to take out in an emergency."

"There are two worlds rubbing right up against each other, and not a single person in this room seems to have trouble straddling them."

"I suddenly remember being very little & being embraced by my father. I would try to put my arms around my father’s waist, hug him back. I could never reach the whole way around the equator of his body; although I’d squeeze hard, he was that much larger than life. Then one day, I could do it. I held him, instead of him holding me, & all I wanted at that moment was to have it back the other way."

"He lets me keep all my words to myself."

"Who I am, & what I am capable of doing, has always managed to surprise me."

"We make messes of our lives, but every now & then, we manage to do something that’s exactly right. The challenge is figuring out which is which."

"I learned a lot that night. For example, that part of being the magician’s assistant
means coming face to face with illusions. That invisibility is really just knotting your body in a certain way & letting the black curtain fall over you. That people don’t vanish into thin air; that when you can’t find someone, it’s because you’ve been misdirected to look elsewhere."

"That’s the strange thing about being a mother: until you have a baby, you don’t even realize how much you were missing one."

"He used to say that life was all about a boy finding the perfect girl; he was lucky enough to have been handed his in a labor & delivery room."

"You can fool yourself, you know. You’d think it’s impossible, but it turns out it’s the easiest thing of all."

"It is strange, suddenly having a memory come back out of nowhere. You think you’re going crazy; you wonder where this recollection has been hiding all your life. You try to push it away, because you think you’ve hammered out the whole timeline of your life, but then you see that one extra moment, & suddenly you are breaking apart what you thought was a solid segment, & seeing it for what it is: just a string of events, shoulder to shoulder, & a gap where there is room for one more."

"Just because you keep something a secret doesn’t mean it never happened, no matter how much you want that to be true."

"It takes two people to make a lie work: the person who tells it, & the one who believes it."

"The sky seems wider here, stretched like cellophane, & the stars are starting to coming out. I am convinced they are a puzzle. If I stare at them hard enough, they’ll move of their own accord; they will link their sharp arms & spell out all the answers."

"We say it all the time, how we’d give up anything for someone we love. But I wonder, when push comes to shove, who’d truly step up to the link."

"Now I wonder if this was some scent recollection, some unconscious understanding that a person who smelled of alcohol was bound to disappoint me."

"You live in the past, because the present stretches out so far it hurts to glimpse it."

"What if memories get stored in the brain, & they aren’t even necessarily ones we’ve had? What if we’re hardwired with a whole iceberg of experiences, & our minds use only a tip of them?"

"The desperate usually succeed because they have nothing to lose."

"Memories aren’t stored in the heart or the head or even the soul, if you ask me, but in the spaces between any given two people."

"There isn’t one truth, there are dozens. The challenge is getting everyone to agree on one version."

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