Words, wisdom and tidbits from my currently reading, currently playing and currently viewing archives presented without comment. Follow my Goodreads profile for more on my “currently reading” list and my Instagram profile for more images.
New quote entries appear first.
“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying, ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.'” Shall We Dance (2004).
“Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really – just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“Our hearts were broken in the same places. That’s something like love, but maybe not quite the thing itself.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“It’s a weird phrase in English, in love, like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in. You don’t get to be in anything else—in friendship or in anger or in hope. All you can be in is love.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“There’s a stillness to you. Like if you were a radio wave, you’d have your very own frequency. Which is isolating because I don’t think everyone can hear you. I mean, you have lots of other waves too, all those commonly shared frequencies, the ones I most certainly lack, but the most important waves, the core you ones, those are harder for people to decipher. That’s my theory, anyway.” What To Say Next, Julie Buxbaum.
“If that moment was a Russian nesting doll, I was paying attention to the smallest figurine. I did not see all the other metaphorical dolls. The one wrapped around the smallest one, and the one wrapped around the next-smallest one and the next and the next after that. What neurotypical people call the context.” What To Say Next, Julie Buxbaum.
“I think about my dad’s favorite expression: People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. What is my house made of? Paper, I decide. Like in a pop-up book. Easily collapsible.” What To Say Next, Julie Buxbaum.
“She told me that beauty was mostly a matter of attention. ‘The river is beautiful because you are looking at it,’ she said.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“The Greeks didn’t even have a word for blue. The color didn’t exist to them. Couldn’t see it without a word for it. I think about her all the time. My stomach flips when I see her. But is it love? Or something we don’t have a word for?” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“Worrying is the correct life view. Life is worrisome.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“Admittedly I have some anxiety problems, but I would argue it isn’t irrational to be concerned about the fact that you’re a skin-encased bacterial colony.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“…your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.” Turtles All The Way Down, John Green.
“Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I’m about to kick the shit out of life.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“It’s for survival. You need to be prepared for novel experiences because often they signal danger. If you live in a jungle full of fragrant flowers, you have to stop being so overwhelmed by the lovely smell because otherwise you couldn’t smell a predator. That’s why your brain is considered a discounting mechanism. It’s literally a matter of survival.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“I felt so full of love for everything. But at the same time, I felt so hung out to dry there, like nobody could ever understand. I felt so alone in this world, and so loved at the same time.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“I can feel the irrationality and anxiety draining my store of energy like a battery-operated race car grinding away in the corner. This is the energy I will need to get through the next day. But I just lie in bed and watch it burn, and with it any hope for a productive tomorrow. There go the dishes, there goes the grocery store, there goes exercise, there goes bringing in the garbage cans. There goes basic human kindness.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“Just because it’s complicated, just because you think you can’t ever know everything about another person, it doesn’t mean you can’t try.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“People like you must create. If you don’t create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.” Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: A Novel, Maria Semple.
“If it didn’t work when two people crashed together like cymbals on a summer afternoon, and then couldn’t stop talking to each other, then when would it?” Losing It: A Novel, Emma Rathbone.
“She read with all the sensuality and absorption of a preteen girl, stocking-footed, sliding down the sofa, completely immersed, her hand foraging on the plate of cheese and crackers next to her like something with a life of its own.” Losing It: A Novel, Emma Rathbone.
“I pictured myself walking across the way, in the sun, wearing a backpack. And then, unexpectedly—a heavy bubble of happiness rose in me. It’s strange, but my instinct was to suppress it, because it somehow didn’t seem fitting. Why would you do that? Why would you feel the need to push down a feeling of joy that kicked up from the world? Just go with it, I told myself, because you never know. The grain of it doesn’t tell you anything about its volume.” Losing It: A Novel, Emma Rathbone.
“How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else’s – be pulled and stretched and twisted – before they snap? Before they can never be mended again?” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“I wish for the thing that is best for me.” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I’m not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins.
“Serendipity. It’s one of my favorite words… It’s such a nice-sounding word for what it means: a fortunate accident.” Serendipity (2001).
“Can consciousness exist without interaction?” Ex Machina (2015).
“We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.”
“I can love you only with kisses and poppies,
with garlands wet by the rain,
looking at ash-gray horses and yellow dogs.” Love Poems, Pablo Neruda, “Ode with a lament.”
“People who live in glass houses should shut the fuck up.” Ready Player One, Ernest Cline.
“To romanticize it was to lie.” Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“I’m afraid I’m in retirement from love.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
“…a solid crease between her brows from a lifetime of cynicism.”Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“Why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?” God Bless America (2011)
“But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.” Love Poems, Pablo Neruda, “Your feet.”
“You’re all terrified of young people. We remind you of what it was like to have ideals, faith, freedom. We remind you of the losses you’ve taken as you’ve grown cynical, number, disenchanted, compromising the life you imagined. Now me? I don’t have to compromise yet. I don’t have to do a single thing I don’t want to do. That’s why you hate me.”Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“Do people tend to underestimate you?” … “I have no idea. I’m too busy trying not to fuck up.”Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“It’s an epidemic with women your age. A gross disparity between the way that they speak and the quality of thoughts that they’re having about the world. They are taught to express themselves in slang, in clichés, sarcasm—all of which is weak language. The superficiality of the language colors the experiences, rendering them disposable instead of assimilated. And then to top it all, you call yourselves ‘girls.'” Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“You can’t save time. You can only spend it.” The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff.
“The pain is what we know. It’s our barometer of reality. We never trust pleasure.” Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“Do you see how, up close, it’s blurry and passionate? And from a distance, whole? Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler.
“It’s brave if you make it, foolish if you fail.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
“I had visions, too abstract and flat for me to hang on to.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
“She belonged to herself only. She had edges, boundaries, tastes, definition down to her eyelashes. And when she walked it was clear she knew where she was going.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
“Any life transaction is negotiated by how you are making the other person feel.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
“We are creating the world as it should be. We don’t have to pay any attention to how it is.” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.