Quotes: “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”

“Tikkun olam.”

Exactly. Basically, it says that the world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job – everyone’s job – is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.”

And you believe that?”

I guess I do. I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken – I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute – every single second – there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world – don’t you feel we’re becoming more and more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it will mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe in that.”

Do you really think it’s getting worse? I mean, aren’t we better off than we were twenty years ago? Or a hundred?”

We’re better off. But I don’t know if the world’s better off. I don’t know if the two are the same thing.”

You’re right.”

Excuse me?”

I said, ‘You’re right.’”

But nobody ever says, ‘You’re right.’ Just like that.”

Really?”

Really.”

…Then it hits me.

Maybe we’re the pieces,”

What?”

Maybe that’s it. With what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces. Maybe, what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.”

Tikkun olam.”

“There’s no such thing as ready,” she says. “There’s only willing.”

“We are the ones who take this thing called music and line it up with this thing called time. We are the ticking, we are the pulsing, we are underneath every part of this moment. And by making the moment our own, we are rendering it timeless. There is no audience. There are no instruments. There are only bodies and thoughts and murmurs and looks. It’s the concert rush to end all concert rushes, because this is what matters. When the heart races, this is what it’s racing towards.”

 

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (novel)

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