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Her mind was present because she was always gone. Her hands were filled because they grasped the meaning of empty. Life was simple. Her husband returned and she served him with indifferent patience this time. When he asked what had happened to her heat for him, she gestured to the west.

The sun was setting. The sky was a body of fire.

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To love another another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection , it is a magnificent task...tremendous and foolish and human.

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He had a thousand-year-old stare.

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Women without children are also the best of mothers,often, with the patience,interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortuante who feels witnessed as a peron,outside relationships with parents by another adult.

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Ravens are the birds I'll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.

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When small towns find they cannot harm the strangest of their members, when eccentrics show resilience, they are eventually embraced and even cherished.

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Old love, middle love, the kind of love that knows itself and knows that nothing lasts, is a desperate shared wildness.

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Wherever the family was, these two dogs, both six-year-old shepherd mixes, took up their posts at the central coming-and-going point. Gil called them concierge dogs. And it's true, they were inquisitive and accommodating. But they were not fawning or overly playful. They were watchful and thoughtful. Irene thought they had gravitas. Weighty demeanors. She thought of them as diplomats. She had noticed that when Gil was about to lose his temper one of the dogs always appeared and did something to divert his attention. Sometimes they acted like fools, but it was brilliant acting. Once, when he was furious about a bill for the late fees for a lost video, one of the dogs had walked right up to Gil and lifted his leg over his shoe. Gil was shouting at Florian when the piss splattered down, and she'd felt a sudden jolt of pride in the dog.

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She gave her husband such a night of sexual pleasure that his eyes followed her constantly after that, narrow and hot. He grew molten when she passed near other men, and at night they made their own shaking tent. They got teased too much and moved farther off, into the brush, into the nesting ground of shy and holy loons. There, no one could hear them. In solitude they made love until they became gaunt and hungry, pale windigos with aching eyes, tongues of flame.

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The pattern glitters with cruelty. The blue beads are colored with fish blood, the reds with powdered heart. The beads collect in borders of mercy. The yellows are dyed with the ocher of silence. There is no telling which twin will fall asleep first, allowing the other's colors to dominate, for how long. The design grows, the overlay deepens. The beaders have no other order at the heart of their being. Do you know that the beads are sewn onto the fabric of the earth with endless strands of human muscle, human sinew, human hair? We are as crucial to this making as other animals. No more and no less important than the deer.

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I am part of what she thinks is her illness, a symptom of which she thinks she has been cured. She, on the other hand, is what I was looking for.

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Delphine witnessed awful things occurring to other humans. Worse than that, she was powerless to alter their fate. It would be that way all her life--disasters, falling like chairs all around her, falling so close they disarranged her hair, but not touching her.

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A woman's body is the gate to this life. A man's body is the gate to the next life.

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Emotions unreel in her like spools of cotton.

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Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.

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Of course, English is a very powerful language, a colonizer's language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures - its cruelty is its vitality.

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I think she is confused by the way I want her, which is like nobody else. I know this deep down. I want her in a new way, a way she's never been told about.

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I hold his name close as my own blood and I will never let it out. I only spoke it that once so he would know he was alive.

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The contents of a house can trigger all sorts of revisions to family history.

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The music was more than music- at least what we are used to hearing. The music was feeling itself. The sound connected instantly with something deep and joyous. Those powerful moments of true knowledge that we have to paper over with daily life. The music tapped the back of our terrors, too. Things we'd lived through and didn't want to ever repeat. Shredded imaginings, unadmitted longings, fear and also surprisingly pleasures. No, we can't live at that pitch. But every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence. We are aware. And this realization was in the music, somehow, or in the way Shamengwa played it.