Get Lit

My beloved book club is called “Get Lit.”  We’ve been reading and drinking together for over a decade now (we do both quite well, hence the name).  The women in that club are some of my best friends:  brilliant professionals, world travelers, great mothers, and just amazing people I am proud to know.

Reading is a habit for me.  I’m honestly not sure I can fall asleep without a book in my bed, because I haven’t thought to try since I was about 14.  Nor do I want to; my bedtime reading is among my favorite times of day.  I must admit, I don’t read nearly as much since Thing 1 and Thing 2 came along.  I still eagerly curl up with a book each evening, but I average about five pages before I start drooling on the pillow.

That’s why it’s such a treat when a book keeps me up all  night, flipping pages by the dim light on my bedside table.  Sometimes these blessings happen on a weekend, when time is free and meaningless.   But if a book grabs my soul on a weeknight, then the looming morning alarm seems a small price to pay.  I take these blessings when they come.

I can’t help but savor books with two lenses:  one as the reader, along for the ride and enjoying the story.  But also as a dreamer:  someone who loves to write, and with that lens I frequently stumble upon lines that are so brilliant I wish I’d written them myself.

So this page is dedicated to the lens of envy!  From here on out, I pledge to document all the brilliant lines in literature that make me drool… and not in the “on my pillow” sleepy way!

LINES I LOVE:

January 2013:  From Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

“Never trust biographies.  Too many events in a man’s life are invisible.  Unknown to others as our dreams.”  Pg. 141

“I don’t know what the soul is.  But I imagine that somehow our bodies surround what has always been.”

“The memories we elude catch up to us, overtake us like a shadow.  A truth appears suddenly in the middle of a thought, a hair on a lens.” Pg. 213

“Loss is an edge…” Pg. 223

“Most discover absence for themselves; trees are ripped out and sorrow floods the clearing.  Then we know what we loved.  But I was born into absence.  History had left a space already fetid with undergrowth, worms chewing soil abandoned by roots.  Rains had made the lowest parts swampy, the green melancholia of bog with its swaying carpet of pollen.  I lived there with my parents.  A hiding place, rotted out by grief.” Pg. 233

“The past is desperate energy, live, an electric field.  It chooses a single moment, a chance so domestic we don’t know we’ve missed it, a moment that crashes into us from behind and changes all that follows.”

“When we married, Naomi said:  Sometimes we need both hands to climb out of a place.  Sometimes there are steep places, where one has to walk ahead of the other.  If I can’t find you, I’ll look deeper in myself.  If I can’t keep up, if you’re far ahead, look back.  Look back.”

5/29/12:  From re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to the kids.  Page 333, Dumbledore speaking to Harry:
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

3/27/12:  From Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – page 34.  Mabel is describing her first impressions of Alaska as she arrived here as a homesteader in the 1920’s.
“So this was Alaska – raw, austere.  A cabin of freshly peeled logs cut from the land, a patch of dirt and stumps for a yard, mountains that serrated the sky.”

“Mountains that serrated the sky” – brilliant!

2/15/12:  From Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Page 105.  The narrator is trying to move a large steamer trunk in an old, abandoned orphanage.
“I grabbed it by the sides and pulled.  It didn’t move.  I pulled again, harder, but it wouldn’t give an inch.  I wasn’t sure if it was just that heavy, or if generations of accumulated moisture and dust had somehow fused it to the floor.  I stood up and kicked it a few times, which seemed to jar things loose, and then managed to move it by pulling on it one side at a time, shimmying it forward the way you might move a stove or a fridge, until it had come out all the way from under the bed, leaving a trail of parenthetical scars on the floor.”

“Parenthetical scars” – seriously?  Brilliant!


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