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“You need eyes like an archerfish, able to see what happens on two planes at once. One set for watching the hands [signing], and the other for watching whatever it is he mouths.”
“Through poverty, godhunger, the family debacle, I kept a sense of worth. I could limn and paint like no-one else in this human-wounded land: I was worth the while of living. Now my skill is dead. I should be.”
“It's the possibility that when you're dead you might still go on hurting that bothers me.”
“All her feelings are dulled these days, as though life is already going, slowly leaking out and ebbing away. Maybe it will make my dying that much easier ... when I come to die, there will be little left to die. I'm already a ghost with set wings, stalking tombstone territory.”
“Another real thing! I am not dead yet! I can still call forth a piece of soul and set it down in colour, fixed forever ...”
“I have faced Death. I have been caught in the wild weed tangles of Her hair, seen the gleam of her jade eyes. I will go when it is time — no choice! — but now I want life.”
“It's been a rare year, o paper soul, and against all the preceding bitterness and bile, this one shining scrawl ... maybe I should fold you away to pull you out again in a decade, see whether the flowering that now seems promised, came; see whether it was untimely frostbit, or died without fruit, because you chart the real deeps of me. No: I hold you a pelorus, a flexing mirror, strange quarters for the wind of God.”
“There is a time, when passing through a light, that you walk in your own shadow.”
“The company you keep at death is, of all things, most dependent on chance.”
Keri Hulme, Maori/New Zealand writer