“On deck, the wind hit me in the face like a punch, and I almost stumbled to the rail, hanging over it, feeling the pitch of the boat. The dark gray waves stretched out like a desert - mile upon mile, stretching out to the horizon, no sign of land of any kind, nor even a ship …”
‘That was how he described the knot he’d carried in his chest ever since he could remember - a knot that, no matter how often he picked at it, would never loosen. The knot persisted throughout his childhood, into his teens: a tight confusion of endless loops, without beginning without middle without end.’
"The sunlight that came splintering through the wide window, dissolving into grains of sand, and the beauty of that body that, though this was not visible to the eye, was also ceaselessly splintering …"
"I was happy in those first days as really I'd never been before, roaming like a sleep-walker, stunned and drunk with beauty. ... The shock of first seeing a birch tree at night, rising up in the dark as cool and slim as a ghost. And the nights, bigger than imagining: black and gusty and enormous, disordered and wild with stars."
"The hard work was already done, the difficult choices made. There was no going back now, she realised. It was all or nothing. Find Autumn or die trying."
"The day felt dreamy and momentous all at once. Was it possible to feel nostalgic about something before it was even over?"
“When we are sad—at least I am like this—it can be comforting to cling to familiar objects, to the things that don't change. Your descriptions of the desert—that oceanic, endless glare—are terrible but also very beautiful. Maybe there's something to be said for the rawness and emptiness of it all."