At some point it occurs to him that he could live in the library. He could read all day and sleep on the floor at night. Use the restrooms, and nobody would be the wiser. And when he got hungry he could steal a pie from the windowsill and run into the woods and eat his supper under the trees, among the ants, just as the animals do.
— Rikki Ducornet, Brightfellow ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
Terrible things happen all the time, he thinks, but not today. Terrible things, beautiful things, things of such power, of such bewilderment, lucent and dark as tar. But right now the universe, restless beyond imagining, a universe of rock and flame, whose nature is incandescence—a universe that flickers, its impatient forms blinking like fireflies in the night—astounds and delights him. Because he has in his hands a book of Vanderloon’s, its text scattered with peculiar sketches like the scrawl of restless spiders. Sketches of altars exhaling smoke, of volcanoes spitting gravel and sparks, of pearl divers and temple gates, of naked people wielding clubs, their faces lifted, stunned by the sight of a meteor. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
As I return to my current den, drawn as are the fish by starlight, my path is illumed by the stars and the moon. The night sky has a child’s color; it is the color of her hair ... the twilight is the color of her eyes, the earth is the color of her mood, and I can hear her almost-imperceptible wheezing in the breeze; her perfume is the perfume caught among the thorns of the blackberry bushes that line the path. And I think as I approach the Night Library that she is all things to me: star, astral light, perfume of bramble, moonlight, and secrecy: life itself. Asthma. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
If one could—despite all that transpires to undo the infant’s marvelous capacity for joy—continue to live, at one’s core, the life of the child, well then one would never cease to radiate out in all directions! As if ... as if ... as if one’s own navel were a sun! A blazing star, forever burning! ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
Just before Jenny had been sent away she had told Stub: “We soon will all be mad, as mad as a person can be, as mad as you and I.” And Stub had said: “I’m not mad! Little kids aren’t ever mad!” “The maddest,” she had told him gently. “The maddest of all.” ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
Vanderloon divides mankind into two constants: _the ones who know how to play, are full of mirth and fellow feeling_, and _the ones who are killjoys and combustible_. Play, he writes, is a powerful form of magic—sometimes white, sometimes black. But always it is born of invention and intuition. Play is about becoming human, just as it is also about becoming a lion, a tugboat, a galloping stallion. The hallway that leads away from the child’s room and into the depths of the house is a river, a glacier, a bridge to the moon. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope