“You’re not clever.  You don’t know what you want.  You have no proper fierceness.  You let other people walk over you.  Sometimes I think you’re a weakling who will never amount to a dog turd.  Does that answer your question?  I love you better.  I always have.  This may be a bad thing to tell you, but it’s true.  Else why would I have given myself the trouble of hurting you?”

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It’s better to fall in with them.  They only do it to protect themselves.  A thing so triumphantly illogical, so beautifully senseless as an army can’t allow a question weaken it.

So many things are done instinctively, the way a bee makes honey or a fox dips his paws in a stream to fool dogs.  A fox can’t say why he does it, and what bee remembers winter or expects it to come again?

When a child first catches adults out – when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just – his world falls into panic and desolation.  The gods are fallen and all safety gone.  And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck.  It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine.  And the child’s world is never quite whole again.  It is an aching kind of growing.

She had a dour Presbyterian mind and a code of morals that pinned down and beat the brains out of nearly everything that was pleasant to do.

And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years.  It was always that way.

Once a woman told me that colored flowers would seem more bright if you added a few white flowers to give the colors definition.  Every petal of blue lupin is edged with white, so that a field of lupins is more blue than you can imagine.

You can boast about anything if it’s all you have.  Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.

It is time for Cal to stop caring whether his father’s love exists or is true, and time to admit that the pain he feels in being human is not because he is loved, but because he loves.

The only love one feels is the love one feels for someone else.