”. . . There are sudden rips. There are tears in your life, deep knife wounds that slash through your flesh. Your life is one thing; then it is shredded into another. It comes apart as through gutted through a belly slit. And then there are those moments when your life simply unravels. A loose thread pulled. A seam gives way. The change is slow at first, nearly imperceptible. . . .”
I’ve had the first one, three times (death, broken back, cancer). Not sure about the second one – it scares me a little. But I did love the juxtaposition of opposites. What can I say? I’m a Gemini – I’m a juxtaposed kinda girl.
“. . . Adult suburbia can be a lot like high school. . . .”
The world seems to think we actually leave high school when we graduate and grow up – but do we? I’ve run into more situations that feel Just Like High School since I left those buildings than I have hairs on my head.
” . . . the feeling of not only intimacy but safety. He made her feel small and protected, and maybe it was un-PC, but she liked that. . . .”
We’re probably dangerously close to oversharing here, but um, yep. Been there, relaxed into that. If you knew “the whole truth,” boy would you be surprised! But, don’t knock it ’til ya truly understand it.
“. . . when you spend enough time in the dark, alone with your thoughts, your mind turns inward and feasts. That was always a dangerous thing. The key to serenity, Wu knew, was to keep working, keep moving forward. When you’re moving, you don’t think about guilt or innocence. You don’t think about your past or your dreams, your joys or disappointments. You just worry about survival. . . .”
Well, been there too. And while there is some truth to this (in other words, when you’re going through hell, keep going), at the same time sometimes one needs to stop for a bit of quiet.
“. . . She was in her midseventies, heavyset, the kind of big aunt who hugs you and you disappear in the folds. As a kid you hate the hug. As an adult you long for it. . . .”
Please refer to two quotes above – similar concept/feeling. As an adult to just let go of everything (emotionally at least), and just, even for a tiny little while, to be able to feel Taken Care Of, Protected, Loved (in a way a child lets go and receives – not tinged or overlayed with an adult’s responsibilities and obligations).
“. . . I’m sorry that you’re in pain. But please don’t tell me what I believe. . . .”
Well, regardless of your state of being, Nobody gets to tell me what I believe, or that what I believe is wrong or crazy. This does become more tricky when someone else involved is in pain or hurt, but that does not eradicate my beliefs.
“The threat at the supermarket had not taken.
Wu was not surprised. He had been raised in an environment that stressed the power of men and the subordination of women, but Wu had always found it to be more hope than truth. Women were harder. They were unpredictable. They handled physical pain better — he knew this from personal experience. When it came to protecting their loved ones, they were far more ruthless. Men would sacrifice themselves out of machismo or stupidity or the blind belief that they would be victorious. Women would sacrifice themselves without self-deception.”
Em, yup. Believe me, I have had and currently have wonderful men in my life. And I love them dearly, in all kinds of ways. At the same time, on a practical level, more often than not, women rule and run the world. We do the hard, boring, dirty, endless, everyday business of life: providing food, clean clothing, clean shelter, the myriad niceties and just generally running interference between them and the big, bad outside world that allow men to lead convenient lives. And on an interpersonal level, well (WARNING: Profanity Ahead!) pussy rules the world. Oh, and for those of either gender who are sitting there shaking their heads “no,” just because you don’t Want to believe it, does Not make it untrue. 🙂
” . . . The problem with tragedy is that you have to go on. There is no choice. You cannot just pull off the road and wait it out — much as you might want to. . . .”
Right, and Oh How I Have Wanted To! What a great way to put it too!
“. . . Psychiatrists talk about opening up. Grace, who has suffered her share of tragedies, is not so sure. There is, she’s learned, something to be said for denial, for severing and compartmentalizing. . . .”
I’ve learned that too. Otherwise known as 1) I don’t have to own that problem, and/or 2) I no longer choose to spend the energy it takes to have (insert person here) in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I Also think there is value to opening up to things and people. But a balance needs to be maintained, and choices about who and what to include in one’s life need to be made consciously, with one’s own happiness being the first and most important consideration.
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I like how you commented on individual blurbs in the story.
Thank you. Each of them spoke to me separately, so I shared that way. 🙂
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