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Portrait of Jennie

Robert Nathan

Top 10 Best Quotes

“What is it which makes a man and a woman know that they, of all other men and women in the world, belong to each other? Is it no more than chance and meeting? no more than being alive together in the world at the same time? Is it only a curve of the throat, a line of the chin, the way the eyes are set, a way of speaking? Or is it something deeper and stranger, something beyond meeting, something beyond chance and fortune? Are there others, in other times of the world, whom we should have loved, who would have loved us? Is there, perhaps, one soul among all others--among all who have lived, the endless generations, from world's end to world's end--who must love us or die? And whom we must love, in turn--whom we must seek all our lives long--headlong and homesick--until the end?”

“Where I come from Nobody knows; And where I'm going Everything goes. The wind blows, The sea flows - And nobody knows.”

“How little we have, I thought, between us and the waiting cold, the mystery, death--a strip of beach, a hill, a few walls of wood or stone, a little fire--and tomorrow's sun, rising and warming us, tomorrow's hope of peace and better weather . . . What if tomorrow vanished in the storm? What if time stood still? And yesterday--if once we lost our way, blundered in the storm--would we find yesterday again ahead of us, where we had thought tomorrow's sun would rise?”

“She has a look," I said, "of not altogether belonging to today.”

“What trouble we go to, trying to fool people who see right through us anyhow.”

“Summer is the worst time of all to be alone. The earth is warm and lovely, free to go about in; and always somewhere in the distance there is a place where two people might be happy if only they were together. It is in the spring that one dreams of such places; one thinks of the summer which is coming, and the heart dreams of its friend.”

“ONE must sometimes believe what one cannot understand. That is the method of the scientist as well as the mystic: faced with a universe which must be endless and infinite, he accepts it, although he cannot really imagine it. For there is no picture in our minds of infinity; somewhere, at the furthermost limits of thought, we never fail to plot its end. Yet—if there is no end? Or if, at the end, we are only back at the beginning again?”

“Yellow is the true color of spring, not green; the new grass, the clouds, the misty, sunny air, the sticky buds like little feathers on the trees, all are mixed with yellow tone, with the haze of sun and earth and water. Green is for summer; blue, for fall.”

“We think of God, we think of the mystery of the universe, but we do not think about it very much, and we do not really believe that it is a mystery, or that we could not understand it if it were explained to us. Perhaps that is because when all is said and done, we do not really believe in God. In our hearts, we are convinced that it is our world, not His. How stupid of us. Yet we are created stupid—innocent and ignorant; and it is this ignorance alone which makes it possible for us to live on this earth, in comfort, among the mysteries. Since we do not know, and cannot guess, we need not bother our heads too much to understand. It is innocence which wakes us each morning to a new day, a fresh day, another day in a long chain of days; it is ignorance which makes each of our acts appear to be a new one, and the result of an exercise of will. Without such ignorance, we should perish of terror, frozen and immobile; or, like the old saints who learned the true name of God, go up in a blaze of unbearable vision.”

“Once upon a time, not so very long ago, men thought that the earth was flat, and that where earth and heaven met, the world ended. Yet when they finally set sail for that tremendous place, they sailed right through it, and found themselves back again where they had started from. It taught them only that the earth was round. It might have taught them more.”

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Book Keywords:

summer, soulmates, time-travel, love, color, storm, beauty, unique, mysterious-woman, spring, yellow, death, discovery

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