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"But as midnight inevitably came and went without the horsemen of the apocalypse making an appearance, Clara surprised herself by falling into a melancholy. For ridding oneself of faith is like boiling sea-water to retrieve the salt—something is gained but something is lost."

—  White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

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"It was done; it was finished. Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision."

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (last lines).

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"And all the lives we ever lived
And all the lives to be,
Are full of trees and changing leaves."

— “Luriana Lurilee” by Charles Elton in To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life?—startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs Ramsay would return. ‘Mrs Ramsay!’ she said aloud, ‘Mrs Ramsay!’ The tears ran down her face."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"'What does it mean? How do you explain it all?' she wanted to say."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"For now she need not think about anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of—to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"In a moment he would ask her: ‘Are we going to the Lighthouse?’ And she would have to say: ‘No: not tomorrow; your father says not.’ Happily, Mildred came in to fetch them, and the bustle distracted them. But he kept looking back over his shoulder as Mildred carried him out, and she was certain that he was thinking, we are not going to the Lighthouse tomorrow; and she thought, he will remember that all his life."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"There it was before her—life. Life: she thought but she did not finish her thought. She took a look at life, for she had a clear sense of it there, something real, something private, which she shared neither with her children nor with her husband."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"And, touching his hair with her lips, she thought, he will never be so happy again, but stopped herself, remembering how it angered her husband that she should say that. Still, it was true. They were happier now than they would ever be again."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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"She stopped; she did not want to bore him; she took the canvas lightly off the easel. But it had been seen; it had been taken from her. This man had shared with her something profoundly intimate."

—  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.