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No one starts a war – or rather, no one in his sense

ought to do so – without first being clear in his mind


what he intends to achieve by that war and how he
intends to conduct it. <br>
- Carl Von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege

pg. 54 :: Anna ::
My mother moves so fast I do not even see it coming. But she slaps my face hard enough to make my head snap
backward. She leaves a print that stains me long after it’s faded. Just so you know: shame is five-fingered.

pg. 93 :: Jessie ::

Anna is the only proof I have that I was born into this family. Instead of dropped off on the doorstep by some Bonnie and
Clyde couple that ran off into the night. On the surface, we’re polar opposites. Under the skin, though, we’re the same:
people think they know what they’re getting, and they’re always wrong.

pg. 236 :: Anna ::

If there was a religion of Annaism, and I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: in the
beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there
was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until
she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things
happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears.
Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder. But mostly
it didn’t, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got
jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn’t tell them, though, was that
in the daytime, they’d never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the
weight of their own foolishness.
The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time
watching out so that her other stars wouldn’t fall. She spent the rest of her time holding on to whatever scraps she had
left.

pg. 332 :: Brian ::

Jessie’s breathing evens against me, like it used to when he was so small, when I used to carry him upstairs after he’d
fallen asleep in my lap. He used to hit me over and over with questions: What’s a two-inch hose for; a one-inch? How
come you wash the engines? Does the can man ever et to drive? I realize that I cannot remember exactly when he
stopped asking. But I do remember feeling as if something had gone missing, as if the loss of a kid’s hero worship can
ache like a phantom limb.

pg. 380 :: Brian ::

Two thousand years ago the night sky looked completely different, and so when you get right down to it, the Greek
conceptions of star signs as related to birth dates are grossly inaccurate for today’s day and age. It’s called the Line of
procession: back then the sun didn’t set in Taurus, but in Gemini. A September 24 birthday didn’t mean you were a Libra,
but a Virgo. And there was a thirteenth zodiac constellation, Ophichus and the Serpent Bearer, which rose between
Sagittarius and Scorpio for only four days.
The reason it’s all off kilter? The earth’s axis wobbles. Life isn’t nearly as stable as we want it to be.
pg. 382 :: Brian ::

Things don’t always look as they seem. Some stars, for example, look like bright pinholes, but when you get them pegged
under a microscope for find you’re looking at a globular cluster-a million stars that, to us, presents as a single entity. On a
less dramatic note there are triples, like Alpha Centauri, which up close turns out to be a double star and a red dwarf in
close proximity.
There’s an indigenous tribe in Africa that tells of life coming from the second star in Alpha Centauri, the one no one can
see without a high-powered observatory telescope. Come to think of it, the Greeks, the Aboriginals, and the Plains Indians
all lived continents apart and all, independently, looked at the same septuplet knot of the Pleiades and believed them to
be seven young girls running away from something that threatened to hurt them.
Make of it what you will.

pg. 384 :: Campbell ::

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect,” she says. “You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”

pg. 415 :: Brian ::

There are stars in the night sky that look brighter than the others, and when you look at them through a telescope you
realize you are looking at twins. The two stars rotate around each other, sometimes taking nearly a hundred years to do it.
They create so much gravitational pull there’s no room around for anything else. You might see a blue star, for example,
and realize only later that it has a white dwarf as a companion-that first one shines so bright, by the time you notice the
second one, it’s really too late.

Brother, I am fire
Surging under ocean floor.
I shall never meet you, brother-
Not for years, anyhow;
Maybe thousands of years, brother
Then I will warm you,
Hold you close, wrap you in circles,
Use you and change you-
Maybe thousands of years, brother.
- Carl Sandburg, “Kin”

My candle burns at both ends;


It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and of, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!
- Edna St, Vincent Millay,
“First Fig”, A Few Figs from Thistles

I will read ashes for you, if you ask me.


I will look in the fire and tell you from the gray lashes
And out of the red and black tongues and stripes,
I will tell how fire comes
And how fire runs as far as the sea.
-Carl Sandburg,
“Fire Pages”

You, if you were sensible,


When I tell you the stars flash signals, each one dreadful,
You would not turn and answer me
“The might is wonderful.”
- D.H. Lawrence
“Under the Oak”
Doubt thou that the stars are fire;
Doubt thou that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt that I love.
- William Shakespeare,
Hamlet

There is no fire without some smoke.


- John Heywood, Proverbs

How great a matter a luittle fire kindleth!


- The New Testament
James 3:5

A little fire is quickly trodden out;


Which, being suffered, rivers can not quench.
- William Shakespeare,
King Henry VI

One fire burns out another’s burning.


One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish.
- William Shakespeare,
Romeo and Juliet

When along the pavement,


Palpitating flames of life,
People flicker round me,
I forget my bereavement,
The gap in the great constellation,
The place where a star used to be.
- D.H. Lawrence,
“Submergence”