Here she was, a women who could bolt-load a crossbow in under a second, put half a dozen long arrows in the air in fewer than five, blade a target dead through the sweet spot at six meters, on the run, on an off day; and yet knitting a pair of baby booties seemed completely beyond her power.
Don't we all deserve forgiveness? I hope we do; I believe we do. Forgiveness says as much about the character of the person bestowing it as the person receiving it. Learning to forgive may be the most difficult of human acts,and the closest thing to divinity, whatever you decide that is.
In her mind's eye she saw it, saw it all at last: the rolling armies and the flames of battle; the graves and pits and dying cries of a hundred million souls; the spreading darkness, like a black wing stretching over the earth; the last, bitter hours of cruelty and sorrow, and the terrible, final flights; death's great dominion over all, and, at the last, empty cities, becalmed by the silence of a hundred years. Already these things were coming to pass.
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A thousand recollected lives were passing through her, a thousand stories - of love and work, of parents and children, of duty and joy and grief. Beds slept in and meals eaten, and the bliss and pain of the body, and a view of summer leaves from a window on a morning it had rained; the nights of loneliness and the nights of love, the soul in it's body keeping always longing to be known.
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Don't we all deserve forgiveness? I hope we do; I believe we do. Forgiveness says as much about the character of the person bestowing it as the person receiving it. Learning to forgive may be the most difficult of human acts, and the closest thing to divinity, whatever you decide that is.
It was more than physical attraction; it was the broken thing inside him she loved most of all, the unreachable place where he kept his sadness. Because that was the thing about Peter Jaxon that nobody knew but her, because she loved him like she did: how terribly sad he was. And not just in the day-to-day, the ordinary sadness everyone carried for the things and people they had lost; his was something more. If she could find this sadness, Sara believed, and take it from him, then he would love her in return.
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Last night they came again. The soldiers had set up a defense perimeter, but there were simply too many-they must have come by the hundreds of thousands, a huge swarm that blotted out the stars. Three soldiers killed, as well as Cole. He was standing right in front of me; they actually lifted him off his feet before they bored through him like hot knives through butter. There was barely enough of him left to bury.
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The things of your life arrived in their own time, like a train you had to catch. Sometimes this was easy, all you had to do was step onto it, the train was plush and comfortable and full of people smiling at you in a hush, and a conductor who punched your ticket and tousled your head with his big hand, saying, Ain't you pretty, ain't you the prettiest girl now, lucky lady taking a big train trip with your daddy, while you sank into the dreamy softness of your seat and sipped ginger ale from a can and watched the world float in magical silence past your window, the tall buildings of the city in the crisp autumn light and then the backs of the houses with laundry flapping and a crossing with gates where a boy was waving from his bicycle, and then the woods and fields and a single cow eating grass... Because sometimes it was one way, easy, and sometimes it was the other, not easy; the things of your life roared down to you and it was all you could do to grab hold and hang on. Your old life ended, and the train took you away to another...
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Rust, corrosion, wind, rain. The nibbling teeth of mice and the acrid droppings of insects and the devouring jaws of years. The was of nature upon machines, of the planet's chaotic forces upon the works of humankind. The energy that man had pulled from the earth was being inexorably pulled back into it, sucked like water down a drain. Before long, if it hadn't happened already, not a single high-tension pole would be left standing on the earth. Mankind had built a world that would take a hundred years to die. A century for the last light to go out.
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One thing that worried me was how writers get categorized and so they end up having to write the same kind of book again and again. That is fine if it is what you want to do, but I would rather be locked in the trunk of my car with a weasel than write the same book every three years until I die.
Sara waited a respectful time, knowing there was nothing she could do to ease the woman's pain. Grief was a place, Sara understood, where a person went alone. It was like a room without doors, and what happened in that room, all the anger and the pain you felt, was meant to stay there, nobody's business but yours.
On a fading summer evening, late in the last hours of his old life, Peter Jaxon-son of Demetrius and Prudence Jaxon, First Family; descendent of Terrence Jaxon, signatory of the One Law; great-great-nephew of the one known as Auntie, Last of the First; Peter of Souls, the Man of Days and the One Who Stood-took his position on the catwalk above Main Gate, waiting to kill his brother.
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A baby was a fact. It was a being with a mind and a nature, and you could feel about it any way you liked, but a baby wouldn't care. Just by existing, it demanded that you believe in a future: the future it would crawl in, walk in, live in. A baby was a piece of time; it was a promise you made that the world made back to you.
There was something in the pages of these books that had the power to make him feel better about things, a life raft to cling to before the dark currents of memory washed him downstream again, and on brighter days, he could even see himself going on this way for some time. A small but passable life. And then, of course, the end of the world happened.
That literary-popular distinction is, in my view, vastly overstated. At the far poles there are clearly books that are purely commercial and purely literary, written for audiences that want to see the same thing enacted over and over and over again. But the middle is where most people read and most people write.