And if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

Here's Doc Osborne, first Democratic governor. A lynch mob hung Big Nose George Parrott back in the 1870s. Doc got the body, skinned it, tanned the hide, made himself a medical bag and a pair a shoes. Wore the shoes to his inauguration. They don't make Democrats like that anymore.

She noticed a monger's window where, on a bed of ice, a wonderful scene was worked in fish. A skiff made of flounder fillets rode waves of shrimp and blue-black mussels. A whole salmon was a lighthouse, shot out rays of glittering mackerel. All framed by a border of crab claws.

Ordinary parties, he thought, were subtle games of sexual and social badminton...

The stale coffee is boiling up but he catches it before it goes over the side, pours it into a stained cup and blows on the black liquid, lets a panel of the dream slide forward. If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.

A spinning coin, still balanced on its rim, may fall in either direction.

I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.

Walking on the land or digging in the fine soil I am intensely aware that time quivers slightly, changes occurring in imperceptible and minute ways, accumulating so subtly that they seem not to exist. Yet the tiny shifts in everything--cell replication, the rain of dust motes, lengthening hair, wind-pushed rocks--press inexorably on and on.

All them things I don't know could get you killed if I come to know them.

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.

All the complex wires of life were stripped out and he could see the structure of life. Nothing but rock and sea, the tiny figures of humans and animals against them for a brief time.

The tide was still on the ebb in that complex swell and fall of water against land, as though a great heart in the centre of the earth beat but twice a day.

By January it had always been winter.

And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery.

You all know we are only passing by. We only walk over these stones a few times, our boats float a little while and then they have to sink. The water is a dark flower and a fisherman is a bee in the heart of her.

The house was heavy around him, the pressure of the past filling the rooms like odorless gas.

Hell was a great fiery-hot music hall, he thought, where untuned instruments scraped and shrieked in diabolical cacophany...

Ennis was back on his feet and somehow, as a coat hanger is straightened to open a locked car and then bent again to its original shape, they torqued things almost to where they had been, for what they'd said was no news. Nothing ended, nothing began, nothing resolved.

Quoyle experienced moments in all colors, uttered brilliancies, paid attention to the rich sound of waves counting stones, he laughed and wept, noticed sunsets, heard music in rain, said I do.

Their faces were scarified in hideous whorls and dots. As for clothing, they dressed in vegetable matter. Another.

I would rather be dead than not read.

Where are the reporters of yesteryear?' he muttered, 'the nail biting, acerbic, alcoholic nighthawk bastards who truly knew how to write?

Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together. George.

Everybody that went away suffered a broken heart. "I'm coming back some day," they all wrote. But never did. The old life was too small to fit anymore.

He felt he was a pin in the hinge of power. Saw the commonplaces of life as newspaper headlines. Man Walks Across Parking Lot at Moderate Pace. Women Talk of Rain. Phone Rings in Empty Room.

Home after midnight from a debate on the wording of a minor municipal bylaw on bottle recycling, he felt like he was a pin in the hinge of power.

You know, friend, this is a goddamn bitch of a unsatisfactory situation.

If you can't fix it, you have to stand it.

One of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.

You are a knowledgeable girl, he said, and a damn good-lookin one, though upholstered. Care for a beer?

The old forests are going and once they are gone we will have to wait a thousand years or more to see their like. Though nothing will be allowed such a generous measure of time to grow.

We don't make the decisions, just does what we're told where and when we're told. We lives by rules made somewhere else by sons a bitches don't know nothin' about this place.

You've got a chance to start out all over again. A new place, new people, new sights. A clean slate. See, you can be anything you want with a fresh start.

As he cut, the wildness of the world receded, the vast invisible web of filaments that connected human life to animals, trees to flesh and bones to grass shivered as each tree fell and one by one the web strands snapped. After.

Nothing ended, nothing begun, nothing resolved.

I play the fiddle....I'm not much to listen to yet, but we got no mice in our house.

In every life there are events that reshape one's sense of existence. Afterward, all is different and the past is dimmed.

There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it.

If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit Awards.

Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives.

It's easier to die if others around you are dying.

Are you like an enchanted thing? A damn story where some girl lets a warty old toad sleep in her shoe and in the mornin the toad's a good-lookin dude makin omelettes?

Strikes, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

The windows of his house shone in the darkness like squares of melting butter.

You got to think a musical instrument is human or, anyway, alive....You take a fiddle now, we say it has a neck, and in the human neck what do you find? Vocal cords like strings, where the sound comes from.

And so my father changed his name to William Pretty and here he grew up and led an independent life. And if it was not happy, he didn't know it.

What we fear we often rage against.

You know, the Chinese have forgotten more about sailing than the rest of the world ever knew.