Aspen Matis quotes:

  • Beneath hot sun, desert roses bloomed. Under cold moon, I still refused to.

  • I realized that no, no one would actually come to save or even stop me, I had absolutely no choice. The scale tipped: the moment not doing it became more difficult and unbearable than just doing it.

  • There was so little I wanted to carry. Packing my backpack took me all of four minutes

  • But the truth was stranger than an aimless road, it always was.

  • Happy people have everything to give.

  • I wanted both things: strength in my independence and also this new desire. This felt like the beginning of a new kind of love.

  • Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This journey had begun with the coercion of my body, with my own wild hope.

  • Each year, Gracie Henderson moons a thousand strangers, collects their shocked faces in an annual photo album.

  • I wanted to come close to fierce wild things. They seemed prehistoric, rare and sacred.

  • It was my first lesson in the fragility of attraction.

  • He understood. In lovesickness we had found a common language.

  • I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself.

  • I needed only to allow myself to know what I already knew.

  • My relationship with my mother trapped me in the identity of a child.

  • death is not a pretty flower that had almost pricked me. It was not a small annoyance I could simply bypass and quickly disregard. It was really The End.

  • I sensed he was the one who might be able to see me clearly, the way I most wished to be seen.

  • I wanted him to look at me like maybe I was magic.

  • I wanted him to declare in shock how overlooked and underestimated I had been ever since I was a child. How lucky he felt to be the one to have discovered me, to have me. I wanted him to look at me like maybe I was magic.

  • Fire is not essential. Fire is warm comfort. From fire, cultures are born.

  • I began to lust after our conjoining life.

  • I felt like I belonged to an ancient tradition of all young people given this same task of finding their own ways through to the futures they wanted for themselves.

  • I wrote through darkness, vividly seeing: my passivity was not a crime; my desire to trust was not a flaw.

  • It felt amazing to make visible my boundaries.The rumors dissipated, then changed. Eventually I turned down enough men that I became the girl who turned down men.

  • He was sprightly and uncommonly good looking, with a quiet, magnanimous confidence that attracted people. He was my hero, too, and I listened to him. He gave me lots of wise advice. He told me to put myself in win-win situations, and that, You have to know what you want, and you have to get it,

  • The PCT would lead me to an otherworld, through the sadness I felt here, out of it.

  • In lovesickness we had found a common language.

  • My malady was submission.The symptom: my compliance.The antidote was loud clear boundaries.

  • Rest fixed most things. Sleep was my sweet reward. I treated bedtime as both incentive and sacrament.

  • When I felt strongly I would say it strongly.

  • After twelve years of trying, I just decided to stop missing.

  • It was suddenly Technicolor clear: the only thing holding me from giving myself vision this entire time had actually simply been me.I saw how in the fall and winter of my childhood, I'd walked through the golden aspens. And then I simply committed and gave myself my own eyes.I had once again proven that again alone, I was again enough.

  • The bravest thing I ever did was leave there. The next bravest thing I did was come back, to make myself heard.

  • Childhood is a wilderness.

  • As if violence could make light. Maybe violence could make light.

  • Because I feared I couldn't walk to Newton Centre without her, I needed to hike through desert, snow and woods alone.Childhood is a wilderness.

  • I saw for the first time that I could stop giving people the power to make me feel disrespected. In my anger I began to see the absurdity of allowing this boy to shame me.

  • I was beginning to feel compassion for myself.

  • I felt unready to hold myself responsible for the decision if I slept with him

  • I no longer needed to peel myself of my skin, or to hide. To Dash the colorless ephemeral things that existed just beneath my surface were as vivid as the beauty marks he traced on my cheek.

  • I was promising myself strength.I had to write it, say it, make the effort and fake it before I actually believed I could do it.

  • I made a conscious effort to name my needs and desires. To carefully listen to and accurately identify what I felt. Hunger, exhaustion, cold, lower-back ache, thirst. The ephemeral pangs: wistfulness and loneliness. Rest fixed most things. Sleep was my sweet reward. I treated bedtime as both incentive and sacrament.

  • Maybe I'd die. Maybe I'd burn to ash in wind, or blacken like the pines. Charred skeletons, I'd add one to the count. I didn't feel scared. I didn't think to panic. The trail wasn't burning. I was raw, ripe for loving. I wasn't stopping.

  • She had wanted me to hold rape inside me like a dark pearl, keep it in there, as it grew, as I grew cramped, as it overtook me as hidden things do. Secrets become lies. I'd carried in every step I took this lie, the shame of it.

  • It was heartbreaking to realize how we can fail the people we most love without even trying.

  • I realized that the most empowering important thing was actually simply taking care of myself.

  • I was the director of my life, it was already true, and I would soon lead myself to my dreamed-of destinations.It was the task of my one thousand miles of solitude.

  • On this walk I'd had so much time and space to actually figure out who I was without my mother's influence. I understood now: the things that my mother had found made her happy were not the same as the things that made me happy. And I understood: that was okay.