No one can say if you are that person who, given good paint, good brushes, and a fine canvas, can produce something better than the factory man. That is, and has always been, beyond the realm of science. You do have the attitude of the dreamer about you. For that reason, I haven't the heart to argue anymore about this - it is a hopeless talk. And for a simple factory man like me, an effort must be abandoned once its hopelessness is exposed. Only the artist perseveres in such circumstances. (193)
Just when normal life felt almost possible - when the world held some kind of order, meaning, even loveliness (the prismatic spray of light through an icicle; the stillness of a sunrise),some small thing would go awry and veil of optimism was torn away, the barren world revealed. They learned, somehow, to wait those times out. There was no cure, no answer, no reparation. (161)
She needed to recover. His father had died in January; it was only the end of May. They needed to stick to the routine they'd established during the intervening months. in that way, their life would return to its original shape, like a spring stretched in bad times but contracting eventually into happiness. That the world could come permanently unsprung had never occurred to him. (223)
So a dog's value came from the training AND the breeding. And by breeding, Edgar supposed he meant both the bloodlines - the particular dogs in their ancestry - and all the information in the file cabinets. Because the files, with their photographs, measurements, notes, charts, cross-references, and scores, told the STORY of the dog - what a MEANT as his father put it. (180)
That was how it was, sometimes. You put yourself in front of the thing and waited for whatever was going to happen and that was all. It scared you and it didn't matter. You stood and faced it. There was no outwitting anything. When Almondine had been playful, she had been playful in the face of that knowledge, as defiant as before the rabid thing. Sometimes you looked the thing in the eye and it turned away. Sometimes it didn't.
She had learned, in her life, that time lived inside you. You are time, you breathe time. When she'd been young, she'd had an insatiable hunger for more of it, though she hadn't understood why. Now she held inside her a cacophony of times and lately it drowned out the world. The apple tree was still nice to lie near. They peony, for its scent, also fine. When she walked through the woods (infrequently now) she picked her way along the path, making way for the boy inside to run along before her. It could be hard to choose the time outside over the time within.