I am writing this account, in another man’s book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish.

Edward Carey, The Swallowed Man

Memory is a map of sorts, but hand drawn, incomplete, and full of errors. It can let you know a place exists, but you cannot trust it to get you there.

Charlie Kaufman, Antkind

In some countries you kill a monster when it’s born.

Other places, you kill it only when it kills someone else.

Other places, you let it go, out into the forest or the sea, and it lives there forever, calling for others of its kind.

Maria Dahvana Headley, The Mere Wife

There will be another shore after the rapids, I promise.

Margaret Atwood, Words to Live By, Vogue January 2021

Glass as day-blooming flower,
television as mortar shell. Television as volleyball against white sun.
Sun as broken glass, in fragments,
glass as crazy paving on street below.
Power cord as vapour trail.
White smoke as cigarette smoke,
smoke as wedding dress pulled through water,
smoke as blood in water.
Glass as water on street below.
Pavement cracks as broken glass as x-ray
held to box of light. Television as broken wrist.
Power cord as skywriting, as Marry Me
on biplane banner. Television as biplane.
Television as bird. White flower growing
in pavement crack as open hand.
Glass as broken glass.

Martha Sprackland, Domestic

Sometimes naming a thing – giving it a name, or discovering its name – helps one to begin to understand it.

Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower

She had become the sort of person she approved of but she wasn’t sure she had chosen anything she actually wanted.

Sophie Ward, Love and Other Thought Experiments

“Go to Old Delhi, and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundred of pale hens and brightly coloured roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they are next, yet they cannot rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop.

The very same thing is done with humans in this country.”

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

…sometimes it seems to me we’re living in a world that we fabricate for ourselves. We decide what’s good and what isn’t, we draw maps of meaning for ourselves…

And then we spend our whole lives struggling with what we have invented. The problem is that each of us has our own version of it, so people find it hard to understand each other.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Olga Tokarczuk

You don’t believe the sky is falling until a chunk of it falls on you.

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood