Walk Two Moons
Important Quotations Explained
I could tell that Mrs. Winterbottom was trying to rise above some awful sadness she was feeling, but Prudence couldn't see that. Prudence had her own agenda, just as I had had my own agenda that day my mother wanted me to walk with her. I couldn't see my own mother's sadness.
As I walked home, I thought about the message. In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter? I said it over and over. I wondered about the mysterious messenger, and I thought about all the things in the course of a lifetime that would not matter. I did not think cheerleading tryouts would matter, but I was not so sure about yelling at your mother. I was certain, however, that if your mother left, it would be something that mattered in the whole long course of your lifetime.
I could not imagine why she had chosen Idaho. I thought perhaps she had opened an atlas and pointed a finger at any old spot, but later I learned that she had a cousin in Lewiston, Idaho. "I haven't seen her for fifteen years," my mother said, "and that's good because she'll tell me what I'm really like." "I could tell you that, Sugar," my father said. "No, I mean before I was a wife and a mother. I mean underneath, where I am Chanhassen."
That night I kept thinking about Pandora's box. I wondered why someone would put a good thing such as Hope in a box with sickness and kidnapping and murder. It was fortunate that it was there, though. If not, people would have the birds of sadness nesting in their hair all the time, because of nuclear wars and the greenhouse effect and bombs and stabbings and lunatics. There must have been another box with all the good things in it, like sunshine and love and trees and all that. Who had the good fortune to open that one, and was there one bad thing down there in the bottom of the good box? Maybe it was Worry. Even when everything seems fine and good, I worry that something will go wrong and change everything.
I went barreling on as if it was my poem and I was an expert. "The waves, with their 'soft, white hands' grab the traveler. They drown him. They kill him. He's gone." Ben said, "Maybe he didn't drown. Maybe he just died, like normal people die." I said, "It isn't normal to die. It isn't normal. It's terrible." Ben said, "Maybe dying could be normal and terrible."
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