Wonderful. Loved it. Favorite quotes: She was not doing it to show off or win Mother's love either. I swear I think she just had excess curiosity and a...moreWonderful. Loved it. Favorite quotes: She was not doing it to show off or win Mother's love either. I swear I think she just had excess curiosity and a deep longing to make things clean and neat. Really. It was like a sickness.
It was rare to see anger so openly displayed-it was like seeing somebody stark naked. You cannot turn your head from it. Most people knew how to keep their anger in the back pocket of their pants, stitched into the hemline of their housedress, stuffed in a secret compartment of their purse-somewhere you could get at it if you needed to, so that you were never entirely without it. But it was not like Vitalis that men slicked onto their heads, or the lipstick women used to paint their smiles-so obvious. Everybody has some anger-I thought maybe the Bible said so-but with most people you'd have to strip-search them to find it. But not Rosemary Ingram. Anger was one of her traits, like milky skin, curly hair, those long second toes on each foot. I knew Sowell was in bad trouble.
He was one of those people who acted like everything in the world weighed exactly the same and none of it weighed much.
And my favorite: Words are funny, the way they come at you full force, then just bounce right off you like bullets off the side of a steel barn. I saw those words coming, I saw the force of them, but they just slapped up against me and bounced away. Words need a place to enter. A lot of people think you go to let words in through your ears, but that's not so. Words can get in other ways-harder ways. They can come in through your open eyes. You can breathe them in. They can work their way through your sweaty skin like ringworms do. They can enter a wound you are trying to heal up. They can just sit on you like a tick you didn't know was there, attach themselves to you and sort of suck their way in. Once words are spoken, then there they are.
And a close second: There's a feeling a true story creates-a physical way a true story lands in an empty place that is just the right size and shape and will not accommodate any variation from that size and shape. It's a feeling like popping a bone back into it's socket, or fitting a oddly shaped foot into a well-worn old shoe, or a pair of dentures into the exact they were designed for. For truth has a certain fit, and the way it snaps into place gives you a sense of relief.
And another close second: Sometimes all the parts of a things do not make a whole. In school they teach about a world where there is logic and explanation. At church they try to make you think God has a master plan and you can participate in that plan if you promise not to mess up your part too much. They don't tell you that even in the best-laid plans, the best-lived lives, there are things missing, lots of things, things you need. Sometimes what is missing may be right in front of your face, but you never see it. It just brushes up against you like the wind, real and invisible. Sometimes the missing thing is the glue that hold everything else in place. This thought gave me hope.(less)
I loved this book, as dark and devastating as it was. Her ability to write from a mother's point of view is incredible and very very real.
My favorite...moreI loved this book, as dark and devastating as it was. Her ability to write from a mother's point of view is incredible and very very real.
My favorite quotes: I can imagine myself reading about someone else and disbelieving it. That's what people do: They imagine themselves in your place, and they know that they would be different, better. They scare themselves a little with borrowed tragedy, and then they retreat to the safety of their own safe place, or what they think is their own safe place.
Ruby loved to tell me things I didn't know, and that afternoon, as we sipped lemonade and scuffed our bare feet through the shaggy grass, she had told me about the butterfly effect, how the beating of their wings in Mexico could cause a breeze in our backyard. "That's kind of terrifying," I replied. But even as a spoke I realized that that was what we had all believed from the moment we had children. The breast-fed baby became the confident adult. The toddler who listened to a bedtime story went on to a doctorate. We flapped our wings in our kitchen, and a wind blew through their futures.
Sometimes I live so much in my mind that I forget what is right before my eyes.
Maybe crazy is just the word we use for feelings that will not be contained.(less)
Very well written, weird but really really good. My favorite quotes:
"I'll be honest about it. It's not aetheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostic...moreVery well written, weird but really really good. My favorite quotes:
"I'll be honest about it. It's not aetheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted to doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."
"I know a woman here in Toronto who is very dear to my heart. She was my foster mother. I call her Auntieja and she likes that. Though she has lived in Toronto for over thirty years, her French-speaking mind still slips on occasion on the understanding of English sounds. And so, when she first heard of Hare Krishnas, she didn't hear right. She heard "Hairless Christians", and this is what they were to her for many years. When I corrected her, I told her that in fact she was not so wrong; that Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims.
"I entered the church. My stomach was in knots. I was terrified I would meet a Christian who would shout at me, "What are you doing here? How dare you enter this sacred place, you defiler? Get out right now!" There was no one. And little to be understood. I advanced and observed the inner sanctum. There was a painting. Was this the murti? Something about human sacrifice. An angry god who had to be appeased with blood. Dazed women staring up in the air and fat babies with tiny wings flying about. A charismatic bird. Which one was the God? To the side of the sanctum was a painted wooden sculpture. The victim again, bruised and bleeding bold colours. I stared at his knees. They were badly scraped. The pink skin was peeled back and looked like the petals of a flower, revealing kneecaps that were fire-engine red. It was hard to connect this torture scene with the priest in the rectory."
"There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening. These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their deference, not God's, the the self-righteous should rush." (less)