You must learn to know the difference between tales and the truth, my Liza, she would say. Fairy tales have a habit of ending too soon. They never show what happens afterwards when the prince and princess ride off the page.
You mustn't wait for someone to rescue you, . . . . A girl expecting rescue never learns to rescue herself. Even with the means, she'll find her courage wanting.
Thinking of nothing. Trying to think of nothing. Thinking of everything.
To abandon a child, she had once said to someone, when she thought Cassandra couldn't hear, was an act so cold, so careless, it refused forgiveness.
To tell the truth, she didn't want to; she liked the constancy of preoccupation.
Was that what Nell had done, too? Forsaken the life and the family she'd been given, to focus instead on the one she'd been without.
We're all unique, just never in the ways we imagine.
Darling girl, blinded by foolish thoughts of love. How to tell her that the hearts of men were not so easily won. If won, rarely kept.
Oh, Grey, no one really likes keeping secrets. The only thing that makes a secret fun is knowing that you weren't supposed to tell it.
Even the most pragmatic person fell victim at times to a longing for something other.
Oh, there was harm indeed for a young lady flattered by the brief attentions of a handsome man.
For the perfect gentleman was out there somewhere, waiting for her. He would be nothing like Father, he would be an artist, with an artist's sense of beauty and possibility, who didn't care two whits about bricks and bugs. Who was open and easy to read, whose passions and dreams brought light to his eyes. And he would love her, and only her.
She did as she felt, and she felt a great deal.
Had any poet adequately described the wretched ugliness of a loved one turned inside out with grief?
She was the sort of person for whom fear was the natural response to that beyond explanation.
He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything.
She'd slept terribly the night before. The room, the bed, were both comfortable enough, but she'd been plagued with strange dreams, the sort that lingered upon waking but slithered away from memory as she tried to grasp them. Only the tendrils of discomfort remained.
His words had tossed the book that was her life into the air and the pages had been blown into disarray, could never be put back together to tell the same story.
So much in life came down to timing.
A way of looking at you that told you she was listening, that she understood all you were saying, and all you weren't.
Hope, how she had grown to hate the word. It was an insideious seed planted inside a person's soul, surviving covertly on little tending, then flowering so spectacularly that none could help but cherish it.
That, my dear, is what makes a character interesting, their secrets.
Ah, well. Life's too short for moderation, wouldn't you say?
In each man's heart there lies a hole. A dark abyss of need, the filling of which takes precedence over all else.
The cage door opened and the cuckoo bird fell, fell, fell, until finally her stunted wings opened, and she found that she could fly.
Although it was almost midnight, London wasn't dark. Cities like London never were, she suspected, not anymore. The modern world had killed nighttime.
It didn't occur to him that she might have chosen to remain this way. That where he saw reserve and loneliness, Cassandra saw self-preservation and the knowledge that it was safer when one had less to lose.
The happiest folk are those that are busy, for their minds are starved of time to seek out woe.
Always remember, with a strong enough will, even the weak can wield great power.
It matters not, for she did not need her eyes to tell her who she was. She knew it by your love for her.
The world was an awfully large place and it wasn't easy to find a person who'd gone missing sixty years earlier, even if that person was oneself.
An expression of infinite wisdom, as if, in those first days of life, the small person retained the knowledge of a lifetime just passed.
It was an isidious seed planted inside a person's soul, surviving covertly on little tending, then flowering so spectacularly that none could help but cherish it. It was hope, too, that prevented a person taking counsel from experience.
Then he led her to sit by him on a fallen gum trunk, smooth and white, and he leaned to whisper in her ear. Transferred the secret he and her mother had kept for seventeen years. Waited for the flicker of recognition, the minute shift in expression as she registered what he was telling her. Watched as the bottom fell out of her world and the person she had been vanished in an instant.
And then he was kissing her, and she was struck by his nearness, his solidity, his smell. It was of the garden and the earth and the sun. When Cassandra opened her eyes, she realized she was crying. She wasn't sad, though, these were the tears of being found, of having come home after a long time away.
It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.
But though it had prevailed against such fierce adversaries as fire and flood, it had fallen victim softly and swiftly to television in the 1960's.
Lil had always believed that a person's duty was to make the best of the hand they were dealt. No use wondering what might have been, she used to say, all that matters is what is.
Cassandra always hid when she read, though she never quite knew why. It was as if she couldn't shake the guilty suspicion that she was being lazy, that surrendering herself so completely to something so enjoyable must surely be wrong. But surrender she did. Let herself drop through the rabbit hole and into a tale of magic and mystery ...
Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.
Cassandra wondered at the mind's cruel ability to toss up flecks of the past. Why, as she neared her life's end, her grandmother's head should ring with the voices of people long since gone. Was it always this way? Did those with passage booked on death's silent ship always scan the dock for faces of the long-departed?
Mother didn't understand that children aren't frightened by stories; that their lives are full of far more frightening things than those contained in fairy tales.
Cassandra's grandmother smiled then, only it wasn't a happy smile. Cassandra thought she knew how it felt to smile like that. She often did so herself when her mother promised her something she really wanted but knew might not happen.
Nell was not one for friends and had never hidden her distaste for most other humans, their neurotic compulsion for the acquisition of allies.
More Kate Morton Quotations (Based on Topics)
Mind - Secrets - Wisdom & Knowledge - Man - Sense & Perception - Hope - Truth - Soul - Life - Power - Books - Imagination & Visualization - Grief - Past - Fear - Moderation & Temperance - Thought & Thinking - Faces - Dreams - View All Kate Morton Quotations
More Kate Morton Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Forgotten Garden
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