“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.”—Philip Pullman (via bunnymitford)
Lyra learns to her great cost that fantasy isn’t enough. She has been lying all her life, telling stories to people, making up fantasies, and suddenly she comes to a point where that’s not enough. All she can do is tell the truth. She tells the truth about her childhood, about the experiences she had in Oxford, and that is what saves her. True experience, not fantasy - reality, not lies - is what saves us in the end.
Our language, Tiger, our language, hundreds of thousands of available words, frillions of possible legitimate new ideas, so that I can say this sentence and be confident it has never been uttered before in the history of human communication: “Hold the newsreader’s nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.” One sentence, common words, but never before placed in that order. And yet, oh and yet, all of us spend our days saying the same things to each other, time after weary time, living by clichaic, learned response: “I love you”, “Don’t go in there”, “You have no right to say that”, “shut up”, “I’m hungry”, “that hurt”, “why should I?”, “it’s not my fault”, “help”, “Marjorie is dead”. You see? That surely is a thought to take out for a cream tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon.