Beautiful Phrases from Good Books: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild by Jami Kelmenson
Sometimes I read a sentence or phrase in a book that stops me cold. And then I read it again. The combination of words is so unique and powerful; I pretty much know it hasn’t appeared anywhere else in all of the gazillions of bound volumes or even e-books that exist out there. It’s a real credit to an author when he or she can pull off something like that because very often, as writers, we try too hard to accomplish this feat that it comes off as just that – something we’re trying to do.
But in reading the opening chapters of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild, which chronicles her emotional journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail after her life falls apart, I was stopped cold more than once to the point where I couldn’t go on. I had to re-read the sentence to feel it, as if searching for a way to touch it, emotionally. To see if something would happen if I took a few seconds to let it wash over me. And then it vanishes into the ether never to be recalled or spoken of again because you are on to the next phrase, sentence, passage or chapter so you can get through the book and start another one. And so on.
Here are some beautiful phrases from Cheryl Strayed’s Wild that I don’t want to vanish into the ether. I want them to live on for me, and hopefully, for you.
“She was going to leave my life at the same moment that I came into hers.”
“She sat with her hands folded tightly together and her ankles hooked one to the other. Shackled to herself.”
“Her love was full-throated and all-encompassing and unadorned.”
“She loved us more than all the named things in the world.”
“My mother was in me already. Not just the parts of her that I knew, but the parts of her that had come before me too.”
“But each day was an eternity, one stacked up on the other, a cold clarity inside of a deep haze.”
“Everything I ever imagined about myself had disappeared into the crack of her last breath.”
What phrases in books have stopped you cold? Share yours in the comments!
Jami Kelmenson is a freelance writer and blogger living and loving in New York City. She is currently seeking representation for her first novel, Crossing Paths. Read of her ongoing tales of travel, life, love and the pursuit of getting published in NYC at her blog, www.jamikellywriter.tumblr.com
Love / Hate is the spot for raves or rants on any book or reading related topic. Submit yours here.
Our roving reporter Jami Kelmenson stopped by Barnes & Noble ..
This is just the tip of the iceberg of books ..
We're not quite sure we're ready to live through the ..
When I think of reading books, I think of bay ..
Our roving reporter Jami Kelmenson is attending Book Expo America ..
As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking how extremely ..