Quotables


I have loved to read since Frog and Toad. Although I have stopped and started again with writing many times throughout my life, reading has been a constant companion.  So I thought I'd quote a few lines I come across and find compelling because of their content or because they were well-crafted or beautifully articulated. I hope these quotes inspire you to crack open a book  or flip a switch and watch the screen come alive, and curl up to worlds and words beyond yourself.
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--A Brogan quote found at  the desk of a very close friend by his boss (or co-worker, as he prefers to be called) when he cleaned out his things upon his tragic death on January 11, 2013. It was read at Rick Stilwell's memorial service by George Nicholson, and then framed by Rick's wife Vicki. It encapsulates one of the qualities of Rick I admired, respected, and loved him for.
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Mom's birthday was coming up soon after, so our immediate task was to figure out how to celebrate it ... . The scan had changed our lives yet again. Mom was still dying but not, thankfully, as quickly as we feared. She would be dying for some time to come. Or to put it more cheerfully, living. No matter what, we would have celebrated her birthday. What had changed was how we would celebrate it.   --Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club, p. 153, read Fall 2012 (fast becoming one of my all time favorite memoirs)
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We leave the comfortable waiting room and walk through the white doors into an alternate universe, a sterile world where the comfortable chairs and sofas give way to plastic and metal, where the warm pine yields to polymers and laminates and steel, and where the lighting subtly shifts from incandescent to flourescent.  --Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club, p. 104, read Fall 2012
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And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window.  -- Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street, discovered in a discussion with Reagan about an 8th grade English assignment, Fall 2012
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Home. The word pierced my thoughts like a poison dart. Is there any more complicated word in the English language? So much packed into one simple syllable. In Spanish, there's only one word for both home and house: casa. But we English speakers like to complicate matters.  --Meg Donohue, How to Eat a Cupcake, read Spring 2012

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Hi Dawn, it's me.....Kelly.... --The first words of a blog comment of 3.16.12 on An Open Letter to My Rescuers that reunited childhood friends over a shared tragedy thirty-three years later.


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How do you live so that when your kids think of the Grace of the Gospel, they think of you?  —Ann Voskamp, 3.15.12 , The Importance of Being the Prodigal Parent, (in)courage . com.


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What have they done to me? I cling to my anger with every ounce of humanity left in my ruined body, but it's no use; it slips away like a wave from shore. I am pondering this sad fact when I realize the blackness of sleep circling my head. It's been there awhile, biding its time and growing closer with each revolution. I give up on rage, which at this point has become a formality, and make a mental note to get angry again in the morning. Then I let myself drift, because there's really no forgetting it.   —Sara Gruen, Water For Elephants, Chapter 5, read Summer 2011

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[After shaving his wife's hair that was falling out after chemotherapy] It was the first of many personal moments they would share together, a long sabbatical into her day to day care, part of the mechanics of dying. He'd done all that he could, but choosing to lovingly care for her was like steering a plane into a mountain as gently as possible. The crash is eminent. It's how you spend your time on the way down that counts. —Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,  read Summer 2011

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"I don't think Jiya can be happy again," Kino said sorrowfully.
"Yes, he will be happy someday," his father said, "for life is always stronger than death. Jiya will feel when he wakes that he can never be happy again. He will cry and cry and we must let him cry. But he cannot always cry. After a few days he will stop crying all the time. He will cry only part of the time. He will sit sad and quiet. We must allow him to be sad and we must not make him speak. But we will do our work and live as always we do. Then one day he will ... begin to feel better. He will not cry anymore in the daytime but only at night. We must let him cry at night. But all the time his body will be renewing itself. His blood flowing in his veins, his growing bones, his mind beginning to think again, will make him live."     —Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave, Homeschool read aloud, Winter 2010

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"Ah, no one knows who makes evil storms," his father replied. "We only know that they come. When they come we must live through them as bravely as we can and after they are gone, we must feel again how wonderful is life. Every day of life is more valuable now than it was before the storm."   —Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave

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It was worth everything, that moment, that song. It did the very thing that music can do when it is at its best:  it elevated us and healed us and showed us how to be our better selves.  —Jeanne Ray, Eat Cake

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"What did they say?" I asked. I was afraid to hear it even though it was good news. I could see good news written all over Camille's face. I never knew that people could be afraid of good news too. I realized good news took you places you didn't know anything about. It changed everything as much as bad news did.  —Jeanne Ray, Eat Cake

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They stood at the gate and waited ... and a great many things went quickly through Caddie's mind. "What a lot of things have happened since last year when I dropped the nuts all over the dining room floor. How far I've come! I'm the same girl and not the same. I wonder if it's always like that? Folks keep growing from one person into another all their lives, and life is just a lot of everyday adventures. Well, whatever life is, I like it.  
—Carol Ryrie Brink, Caddie Woodlawn, Homeschool read aloud, Spring 2009

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I will never make a resolution. I will allow the rule of infinite possibilities to unfold, so I can embrace the wisdom of uncertainty and find a life that is magical because it's unpredictable.  —Quoted from my sister-in-law's study.

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