“Little tragedies are difficult to keep straight. They swell and dive in and out between great sinkholes of the brain. It’s hard to know what to think of a life when you find yourself knee-deep. You want to climb out, you want to explain how there must be some mistake.” (25)
“Or when they swim upstream to spawn then die. Are they killing themselves? Or making life?” (152)
“I’ve met many mothers whose children didn’t come right or never came at all. We are like a tribe of women carrying something not quite of this world.” (245)
“In water, like in books-you can leave your life.” (152)
“How many times do we die?
Words, like selves, are worth it.” (190)
“But something in me had been born, still.” (199)
obviously, the links between birth and death, beginning and end, land and water, life and reality, and un/consciousness are thoroughly and concurrently explored throughout this gorgeous novel, but i pulled all of these together by the theme(s). i remember reading this when the news story came through of the woman who was sentenced to death for having a miscarriage-and wondered a lot about the war waged on women’s bodies-daily, historically, and wonder if a future end is possible/would help anything. because we learn lessons best when experienced through the body, but there are really some that we can do without. (sigh).