Literary Lines–October 18

“We are awfully lucky to be here–and by ‘we’ I mean every living thing.  To attain any kind of life in this universe of our appears to be quite an achievement.  As human we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better.  It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp.”

–from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Literary Lines–May 14

“True love isn’t all chocolate-dipped strawberries and perfect harmony.  It’s work, work you enjoy doing, but work all the same.  As long as love can drive you crazy and bring you back for more at the same time, it’s a good thing.”

–from The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire

Literary Lines–October 15

“In all the infinite versions of Earth, the farm boy with the cape must show up first.  He’s the one who shines brightly enough; until he breaks the ice jam, the rest can’t make their entrance.  Even beings as old as time–warrior gods, Champions Eternal–have to stay in the shadows, like chess pieces locked in the box.  Crisis after crisis may shatter and remake the world, but humans must cope on their own until the superpowered Boy Scout takes the field.

Only then may the curtain rise.  The floodgates open and the genies in crazy costumes come streaming from their bottles.”

–from page 22 of James Alan Gardner’s All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault

Literary Lines–October 8

“He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that too.  The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time.  Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”

–from page 158 of Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Literary Lines–September 24

“No matter how good you are with words, it’s inevitable that meaning is lost between your mind and someone else’s.  Trying to communicate is like chucking a cup of water at a thirsty person’s face.  It’s better than nothing, sure, and a teaspoon of water might hit their lips, but oh, God, there’s just so much water in the grass.”

–from page 2 of Jacqueline Novak’s How to Weep in Public

Literary Lines: September 10

“One of the few things about which I feel I’ve gained any wisdom as I’ve grown older is the insight that nearly everybody believes himself to be a good person.  We all feel as though we’re doing our best.  When others find us obnoxious or insolent or cruel, it is only, we think, because we were misunderstood or because they deserved it, or because they are the bad people.  Not us.  Nobody thinks of himself as a villain.  Not even villains.”

–from location 2281 of Michael Ian Black’s Navel Gazing

Literary Lines–August 27

“Most people live their lives as if the end were always years away.  They measure their days in love, laughter, accomplishments, and loss.  There are moments of sunshine and storm.  There are schedules, phone calls, careers, anxieties, joys, exotic trips, favorite foods, romance, shame, and hunger.  A person can be defined by clothing, the smell of his breath, the way she combs her hair, the shape of his torso, or even the company she keeps.

All over the world, children love their parents and yearn for love in return.  They revel in the touch of parental hands on their faces.  And even on the worst of days, each person has dreams about the future–dreams that sometimes come true.

Such is life.

Yet life can end in less time than it takes to draw one breath.”

–from page 262 of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy

Literary Lines–August 20

“You treat hatred like a fine wine.  Believing it gets better with age.  Never expires.  Doesn’t go bad.  But that’s the thing about hatred.  It can become rancid.  And it will turn into poison if you keep it bottled too long.  Hatred will eat through any container, and seep into the groundwater of the soul.  Revenge is never enough to expel it because it keeps bubbling up anew.”

–from Michael J. Sullivan’s Age of Swords

Literary Lines–August 13

“The mind is like a muddy road.  Two ruts run down its center, from all the carts that have passed that way.  No matter how many carts try to roll alongside the ruts, to stay out of the mud, sooner or later, a turn here or a jolt there will send them down into the ruts for good.  Just so is the mind.  As hard as we try to keep our thoughts out of the old ways, the old patterns, the old ruts, any little jog or jerk will send them right back down into the mud.”

–from Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale

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