bel canto

I just finished Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. It was tragic and heartfelt. There was so much I could have picked to reflect on but below are a few of the things that really stuck with me and were underlined and starred. The third passage is particularly gorgeous to me. To be an author…

If what a person wants is his life, he tends to be quiet about wanting anything else. Once the life begins to seem secure, one feels the freedom to complain. “

“Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. Don’t you think? It’s a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, to be a spectator in a gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world’s greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those that witness the art, that love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see.”

“Yes, she was shy, and yes, a terrorist from the  jungle, but she was as smart as any girl he had met at university… She ate through information the way that fire licks through hay and asked for more. She took off her gun every night and put it in the front of the glass front cupboard beside the blue gravy boat. She sat on the floor with her notebook balanced on  top of her knees, her pencil sharp… What a sense of humor one would need to believe that the woman you love is not in Tokyo or Paris or New York or Athens. The woman you love is a girl who dresses as a boy and she lives in a village in a jungle,  the name of which you are not allowed to know… the woman you love puts her gun beside a blue gravy boat at night so you can teach her to read. She came into your life through an air conditioner vent and how she will leave is the question that keeps you awake in the few free moments you have to sleep.”

-ann patchett, bel canto

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