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And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

  • It’s a funny thing… but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.
  • They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.
  • It’s crass to plaster your good deeds up on a billboard. Something to be said for doing it quietly, with dignity. There’s more to kindness than signing checks in public.
  • I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.
  • Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.
  • I now know that some people feel unhappiness the way others love: privately, intensely, and without recourse.
  • “Out beyond ideas
    of wrongdoing and right doing,
    there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.”
  • But it is important to know this, to know your roots. To know where you started as a person. If not, your own life seems unreal to you. Like a puzzle. Vous comprenez? Like you have missed the beginning of a story and now you are in the middle of it, trying to understand.
  • I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that.
  • You say you felt a presence, but I only sensed an absence. A vague pain without a source. I was like a patient who cannot tell the doctor where it hurts, only that it does.
  • It was the kind of love that, sooner or later, cornered you into a choice: either you tore free or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself.
  • The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet – they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.
  • For courage, there must be something at stake. I come here with nothing to lose.
  • Nothing good came free. Even love. You paid for all things. And if you were poor, suffering was your currency.
  • I’ve read that if an avalanche buries you and you’re lying there underneath all that snow, you can’t tell which way is up or down. You want to dig yourself out but pick the wrong way, and you dig yourself to your own demise.