"... It’s like a man doing birdcalls: if he practices enough, he can hit the same notes, maybe not exactly, but close enough to fool a lot of birds. But he’s not a bird. He doesn’t know what the bird feels when it sings, or what it means. He just knows that when he does it, birds will come close enough so he can kill them.”
“I told you. I’m a painter. I’m not sort of a painter. I don’t quit just because some ignorant character comes in and tells me it’s good enough for him. It has to be good enough for me.”
He looked into their faces and read things: stupid misconceptions that they stubbornly clung to in the face of all evidence, bad decisions they had made years ago and still thought about sometimes and regretted. He sensed the things they worried about late at night, and he saw the courage and will it took when they woke up each morning to take up the weight of their lives again.