When You Reach Me
How we cite our quotes:
It was Richard who taught me how to tie knots. He learned back when he sailed boats as a kid, and he still carries pieces of rope in his briefcase. He says that when he's trying to solve a problem at work, he takes out the ropes, ties them into knots, unties them, and then ties them again. It gets him in the right frame of mind. (6.3)
The knot is a recurring image in this book. What does it mean to Miranda? How does Miranda use knots?
"Einstein says common sense is just habit of thought. It's how we're used to thinking about things, but a lot of the time it just gets in the way."
"In the way of what?"
"In the way of what's true." (14.62-64)
Miranda is using common sense, but Marcus is using Einstein. Here he argues that his understanding of time may not make sense to Miranda, but that doesn't mean it's not true. The truth is more complicated than the way we might commonly understand it to be. Do you agree with Marcus?
Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way.
But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there's a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore. (21.3)
Miranda's mom believes that we are all capable of seeing the true nature of things – if we only can lift the veil. How does Miranda lift the veil? Who was born without a veil, according to Miranda?