“I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything’s going your way you can still be sad. Or anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can’t always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect.”
“We must be willing to encounter darkness and despair when they come up and face them, over and over again if need be, without running away or numbing ourselves in the thousands of ways we conjure up to avoid the unavoidable.”
“Shadow had heard too many people telling each other not to repress their feelings, to let their emotions out, let the pain go. Shadow thought there was a lot to be said for bottling up emotions. If you did it long enough and deep enough, he suspected, pretty soon you wouldn’t feel anything at all.”
“‘Dear little Dot, life is so damned hard.’
She was crying upon his shoulder.
‘So damned hard, so damned hard,’ he repeated aimlessly; ‘it just hurts people and hurts people, until finally it hurts them so that they can’t be hurt ever any more. That’s the last and worst thing it does.’”
“—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Yours arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.”
“So in order to feel something through the numbness, I decided to perpetuate on my soul and hers the equivalent of quenching cigarettes on my paralyzed limbs. My hope was that if I registered pain, it would be welcomed as a sign of life.”
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