Thursday, June 22, 2006
Borrowed words from a good read.
"You should think about your character. Know where you are changing, how you will be changed, what cannot be changed back again"
"Think about your intentions...what is in your heart, what you want to put in others."
"They write about what happened, why it happened, how they can make other things happen. They write stories of things that are but should not have been. They write about what could have been, what still might be. They write of a past that can be changed. After all, what is the past but what we choose to remember? They can choose not to hide it, to take what's broken, to feel the pain and know that it will heal. They know where happiness lies, not in a cave or a country, but in love and the freedom to give and take what has been there all along."
I can't believe it took me as long as it did to discover Tan's writing. It took me a while to really get in to this book, but once I was in, I was thoroughly hooked. Another tale that weaves mothers and daughters, cultures in transition, and distinct historical moments, this is a lyrical book that evokes a response. Whether it is to consider a different culture or way of being, or to compare your own mother/daughter relationship and how wonderfully functional/dysfunctional they are and can be. I found the protagonist Ruth a bit irritating for the first part of the book, but as the stories evolve, my responses make much more sense.
The quotes I have included struck a chord for me, making me pause and just consider the words and what they meant to me. Without fancy words or descriptions I think that Tan hits on some truths, especially poignant ones when you consider those moments in your life when you make choices, or even let parts of your past go.