he said, she said

quote (noun): a passage referred to or repeated

      . . . otherwise known as a snippet

It is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do. - Jhumpa Lahiri

Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty, it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do. Know what those things are before you start.  - Leo Babaura

This sort of thing is not considered scholarly or academic or of consequence, these small footnotes. 

Such a corrosive rain as on Venus would be one of the most potent and destructive fluids in the solar system.  It would burn away human flesh in a matter of minutes.  Umbrellas would not help at all.

I know our marriage has just as good a chance of being wonderful as it does of missing the mark.  There is a strong possibility that it will be both.  And, contrary to what current belief is, it has always been so.

- WHITNEY OTTO, How to Make an American Quilt

I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.

It’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. 

- KHALED HOSSEINI, The Kite Runner 

[On photography:] One theme with endless variations, like life itself.   


Every photo takes him a hairsbreadth closer to her, to the essential core of Helle, a purified Helle that he will one day hand back to her on a sheet of photographic paper.
Here, he imagines himself saying. This is you.
She will look at the print and know herself, at last, and she will wonder how she missed herself all along.

- LAUREN GROFF, Arcadia 

I have an idea for a new book.  It's a novel about a beautiful yet sensitive author whose spirit is crushed by her domineering editor. Do you like it? 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It was never what he had done, but always what he could do. 

- ERNEST HEMINGWAY, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"

Like Berlin, I was layered with guilt and destruction.  I had caused grief as well as suffering it.  I could never honestly point a finger without it turning around in mid-accusation. 

- JANET FITCH, White Oleander

Those things don't seem so much like actual memories as like things I might remember from a book I'd read more than once.

"People change," she said.  "Not everything stays with you all your life."

It's surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. 


The people we love best are always mysteries.  Sometimes the truth resides in what we cannot see or do not know to look for - the songlines written on the land that hold the stories that precede us. 

- GAIL CALDWELL, A Strong West Wind

But she, Hope, had fallen in love with Gervain Woodhouse, and was therefore miserable.  I sorted out this curious statement eventually. 


It is not unknown for fathers with a brace of daughters to reel off their names in order of birth when summoning the youngest, and I had long ago become accustomed to being called "Ophelia Daphne Flavia, damn it."

- ALAN BRADLEY, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

In order to provide sufficiently dramatic lighting for this story, I must admit to having tinkered slightly here and there with the phases of the moon, though the reader may rest assured that, having finished, I've put everything back exactly as it was.

- ALAN BRADLEY, Note to the Reader

Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore. 

- GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ, Love In the Time of Cholera

Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. 


All the children seem to be coming out quite intelligent, thank goodness. It would have been such a bore to be the mother of morons, and it's an absolute toss-up, isn't it? If only one could invent them, like characters in books ...


We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.

– HEMINGWAY, A Moveable Feast

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeing emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.  


Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book ... 


The books were the closest things he had to furniture, and he lived in them the way other men live in easy chairs. 


Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.


I hope you laugh when the wind messes up your hair, when it’s not the perfect picture, when everyone else finds reasons to be down. Don’t take things too seriously, love. // ANON?

The real struggle is about you: you, a person who has to learn to live in the real world, to inhabit her own skin, to know her own heart, to stop waiting for her life to begin.