Make one thing every day, wander like a gypsy, and shine happiness like the sun

The Bonesetter’s Daughter-Quotes from Part Two

on September 7, 2013

Continues to impress.  It occurred to me that one of my other favorite authors also has the initials AT-Anne Tyler.  As it also could stand for “A Thinker”, I think there must be some connection.  Digression, however, so to task:


A person should consider how things begin.  A particular beginning results in a particular end.



I was like a turtle lying on its back, struggling to know why the world was upside down.

“If she didn’t love you, why did she bother to criticize you for your own good?”  And then Precious Auntie went on to say how selfish I was, always thinking about myself.  She said my face looked ugly when I pouted.  She criticized me so much I did not consider until now that she was saying she loved me even more.

You can never be an artist if your work comes without effort… You push and ask yourself, What are my intentions?  What is in my heart that matches my mind?

My head was a sandstorm, ideas and hopes whirling about freely.  I was wondering all the while what those people at the pavilion would remember the next day and the day after that.  Because I knew I would never forget a moment of that day, the day I was to begin my new life.

I saw how all the women we passed, young and old, had the same bland face, sleepy eyes that were mirrors of their sleepy minds.



I was amazed at how Mother’s mind flowed, as if she were accustomed to running two paces ahead of a flood.

Want less, regret less, that was Mother’s motto.



“You can have pride in what you do each day,” said Sister Yu, “but not arrogance in what you were born with.”  She also often reminded  us that self pity was not allowed.  That was an indulgence.


We can study, we can learn

We can marry whom we choose.

We can work, we can earn,

And bad fate is all we lose.


I recalled for them what Precious Auntie had taught me about writing characters, how a person must think about her intentions, how her ch’i flowed from her body into her arm, through the brush, and into the stroke.  Every stroke had meaning, and since every word had many strokes, it also had many meanings.

“How could beauty be more than divine?”… “The fourth level,” Kai Jing said ” is greater than this, and it is within each mortal’s nature to find it.  We can sense it only if we do not try to sense it.  It occurs without motivation or desire or knowledge of what may result… Kai Jing was quiet for a long time.  “This fourth level is called Effortless,” he said at last… For we both knew we were speaking about the effortlessness with which one falls in love without intending to, as if we were two stalks of bamboo bent towards each other by chance of the wind.


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