“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
Catch and carry.
Ash and Ember.
Ash and oak.
Bide and borrow.
Stone and stave.
Wind and water.
“Call a jack a jack, call a spade a spade, but always call a whore a lady. Their lives are hard enough and it costs nothing to be polite.”
“Amazing, isn’t it? Five fingers and flesh with blood beneath. One could almost believe that on the other end of that hand lay a person of some sort.”
“Fault isn’t the issue. A tree doesn’t make a thunderstorm, but any fool knows where the lightning’s going to strike.”
“The cut-flower sound of a man waiting to die.”
Brew in a tea: featherbite, deadnettle, lohatm, makes breathing easier.
“I need you to promise me. Or else I’ll probably do something stupid beyond all mortal ken. And both of us will end up the worse for it.”
“Today, I learned why great lovers have better eyesight than great scholars.”
“A tinkers debt is always paid:
Once for any simple trade.
Twice for freely given aid.
Thrice for any insult made.”
“How odd to watch a mortal kindle
Then to dwindle day by day.
Knowing their bright souls are tinder
and the wind will have its way.
Would I could my own fire lend
What does your flickering portend?”
“It’s not their fault that the world is full of hard choices and hunger and loneliness. What can you expect of people when demons are their neighbors? Even the best dog will bite that has been kicked enough.”
“A moment in the mind is worth nine in the fire.”
“Beer dulls a memory, brand sets it burning, but wine is the best for a sore heart’s yearning.”
“Hear my words, manling. Do not mistake me for my mask. You see light dappling on the water and forget the deep, cold dark beneath. Listen. You cannot hurt me. You cannot run or hide. In this I will not be defied.
I swear by all the salt in me: If you run counter to my desire, the remainder of your brief mortal span will be an orchestra of misery. I swear by stone and oak and elm: I’ll make a game of you. I’ll follow you unseen and smother any spark of joy you find. You’ll never know a woman’s touch, a breath of rest, a moment’s peace of mind.
And I swear by the night sky and the ever-moving moon: if you lead my master to despair, I will slit you open and splash around like a child in a muddy puddle. I’ll string a fiddle with your guts and make you play it while I dance. You are not wise enough to fear me as I should be feared, you do not know the first note of the music that moves me.
But listen, there’s no reason we can’t be friends."
“If you have never been deep underground, I doubt you can understand what it is like. The darkness is absolute, almost tangible. It lurks outside the light, waiting to rush in like a sudden flood. The air is still and stale. There’s no noise except what you make yourself. Your breathing comes loud in your own ears. Your heart thumps. And all the while there is the overwhelming knowledge that thousands of tons of earth and stone are pressing down above you.”
River stone, smooth and dark: Describe the precise shape of this. Tell me of the weight and the pressure that forged it from sand and sediment. Tell me how the light reflects from it. Tell me how the world pulls at the mass of it, how the wind cups it as it moves through the air. Tell me how the traces of its iron will feel the calling of a loden-stone. All of these things and a hundred thousand more make up the name of this stone… This single, simple stone.
“I’m giving you a gift. Perspective. You go rummaging around in other people’s lives. You hear rumors and go digging for the painful truth beneath the lovely lies. You believe you have a right to these things. But you don’t… When someone tells you a piece of their life, they’re giving you a gift, not granting you your due.”
“Songs choose their hour and their own season. When your tune’s tin, there is a reason. The tone of a tune is your heart’s mettle, and there’s no clear water from a muddy well. All you can do is let the silt settle, or you’ll sound sour as a broken bell.”
“In the Temple scripture, Re’lar writes of secrets, calling them painful treasures of the mind. He explains that what most people think of as secrets are really nothing of the sort. Mysteries, for example, are not secrets. Neither are little-known facts or forgotten truths. A secret, Re’lar explains, is true knowledge actively concealed.
Philosophers have quibbled over his definition for centuries. They point out the logical problems with it, the loopholes, the exceptions. But in all this time none of them has managed to come up with a better definition. That, perhaps, tells us more than all the quibbling combined.
In a later chapter, less argued over and less well-known, Re’lar explains that there are two types of secrets. There are secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart.
Most secrets are secrets of the mouth. Gossip shared and small scandals whispered. These secrets long to be let loose upon the world. A secret of the mouth is like a stone in our boot. At first you’re barely aware of it. Then it grows irritating, then intolerable. secrets of the mouth grow larger the longer you keep them, swelling until they press against your lips. They fight to be let free.
Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become.
Re’lar claims it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart. Any fool will spit out poison, he says, but we hoard these painful treasures. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. There they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them. "
“If I say she slapped me, you will take the wrong impression. This wasn’t the dramatic slap of the sort you see on a stage. Neither was it the offended, stinging slap a lady-in-waiting makes against the smooth skin of a too-familiar nobleman. It wasn’t even the more professional slap of a serving girl defending herself from the unwelcome attention of a grabby drunk.
No. This was hardly any sort of slap at all. A slap is made with the fingers or the palm. It stings or startles. Vashet struck me with her open hand, but behind that hand was the strength of her arm. Behind that was her shoulder. Behind that was the complex machinery of her pivoting hips, her strong legs braced against the ground, and the ground itself beneath her. It was like the whole of creation striking me through the flat of her hand, and the only reason it didn’t cripple me is that even in the middle of her fury, Vashet was always perfectly in control."
“…an old Amere farmer lost his best stallion one day and his neighbor came around to express his regrets, but the farmer just said, “Who knows what is good and what is bad.”
The next day the stallion returned bringing with him 3 wild mares. The neighbor rushed back to celebrate with the farmer, but the old farmer simply said, “Who knows what is good and what is bad.”
The following day, the farmer’s son fell from one of the wild mares while trying to break her in and broke his arm and injured his leg. The neighbor came by to check on the son and give his condolences, but the old farmer just said, “Who knows what is good and what is bad.”
The next day the army came to the farm to conscript the farmer’s son for the war, but found him invalid and left him with his father. The neighbor thought to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad.” "