Below are small excerpts and clippings that I’ve extracted from things I’ve read or re-read recently.
“I opened the tattered book. Its onion-skin pages were stained with grease from his fingers. On one page, I covered his thumbprint with my thumb and considered for the first time that Papa might have been more than just old pictures-0ld, repeated stories.” -Wally Lamb, I know this much is true
“Finally, by the sea, where God is everywhere, I gradually calmed.” -Patti Smith, Just Kids
“He was whittled down now, either to banalities or to simple truths. Either way, they would have to do.” -Sharon Guskin, The Forgetting Time
“Later I will look at video made close to that day of the children watching the rapacious hawk, and hear the light tinkling bells in Simon’s voice and think, he was so young that April.” -Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World
“When the truth would be unbearable the mind often just blanks it out. But some ghost of an event may stay in your head. Then, like the smudge of a bad word quickly wiped off a school blackboard, this ghost can call undue attention to itself by its very vagueness. You keep studying the dim shape of it, as if the original form will magically emerge. This blank spot in my past, then, spoke most loudly to me by being blank. It was a hole in my life that I both feared and kept coming back to because I couldn’t quite fill it in.” –Mary Karr, The Liar’s Club
“So the challenge I face with children is the redemption of adulthood. We must make it evident that maturity is the fulfillment of childhood and adolescence, not a diminishing; that it is an affirmation of life, not a denial; that it is entering fully into our essential selves.” -Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet