Quote

“Mama used to tell us a story about a cicada sitting high in a tree. It chirps and drinks in dew, oblivious to the praying mantis behind it. The mantis arches up its front leg to stab the cicada, but it doesn’t know an oriole perches behind it. The bird stretches out its neck to snap up the mantis for a midday meal, but its unaware of the boy who’s come into the garden with a net. Three creatures—the cicada, the mantis and the oriole—all coveted gains without being aware of the greater and inescapable danger that was coming.”

-Lisa See, Shanghai Girls

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Shanghai Girls

Read: September 2018

Rating: Not as good as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but not bad.

TL;DR Recommendation: Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Stephen Frears

Quote

“In your own body, don’t all the different cells know what to do? When to grow and when to stop growing? When to form certain substance and when not to—and when they form them, just how much to form, neither more nor less? Each cell is, to a certain extent, an independent chemical factory, but all draw from a common fund of raw materials brought to it by a common transportation system, all deliver wastes into common channels, and all contribute to an overall group consciousness.”

-Isaac Asimov, Foundation’s Edge

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“I am not a scrapbooker, not somebody who tried to organize what I will remember. After all, there are a lot of years I want to forget. Nor did I want to shape something after it happened […] It seemed like my interpretation of what happened would get in the way of the actual experience. I wanted to remember things as they were, and not as I created them, by choosing certain photos, or saving certain items, or labeling certain moments.

Of course, I had it all backwards. It turns out that most of what I remember are the things that accidentally did get labeled, or pulled out, or sorted. How is it possible that I can forget the dearest moments of my life? […] I never wanted to forget those things; I never thought I could forget those things. Turns out, forgetting is easy.”

-Laura McBride, We Are Called to Rise