The tragedy of her death was not that it made one, now and then and very intensely, unhappy. It was that it made her unreal; and us solemn, and self-conscious. We were made to act parts that we did not feel; to fumble for words that we did not know. It obscured, it dulled.
Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Death is a tragedy whether it is in the death of one girl-woman in London or seventy-seven men, women, and children in Norway. We know this, but perhaps it needs to be said over and over again so we do not forget.I have never considered compassion a finite resource. I would not want to live in a world where such was the case.
Brahma made up his mind to make the world and a man and woman. He made the world, and he made the man and then the woman, and put them on the island of Ceylon. According to the account it was the most beautiful island of which man can conceive. Such birds, such songs, such flowers and such verdure! And the branches of the trees were so arranged that when the wind swept through them every tree was a thousand Æolian harps.Brahma, when he put them there, said: 'Let them have a period of courtship, for it is my desire and will that true love should forever precede marriage.' When I read that, it was so much more beautiful and lofty than the other, that I said to myself, If either one of these stories ever turns out to be true, I hope it will be this one.'Then they had their courtship, with the nightingale singing, and the stars shining, and the flowers blooming, and they fell in love. They were married by the Supreme Brahma, and he said to them: 'Remain here; you must never leave this island.' Well, after a little while the man—and his name was Adami, and the woman's name was Heva—said to Heva: 'I believe I'll look about a little.' He went to the northern extremity of the island where there was a little narrow neck of land connecting it with the mainland, and the devil, who is always playing pranks with us, produced a mirage, and when he looked over to the mainland, such hills and vales, such dells and dales, such mountains crowned with snow, such cataracts clad in bows of glory did he see there, that he went back and told Heva: 'The country over there is a thousand times better than this; let us migrate.' She, like every other woman that ever lived, said: 'Let well enough alone; we have all we want; let us stay here.' But he said 'No, let us go;' so she followed him, and when they came to this narrow neck of land, he took her on his back like a gentleman, and carried her over. But the moment they got over they heard a crash, and looking back, discovered that this narrow neck of land had fallen into the sea. The mirage had disappeared, and there were naught but rocks and sand; and then the Supreme Brahma cursed them both to the lowest hell.Then it was that the man spoke,—and I have liked him ever since for it—'Curse me, but curse not her, it was not her fault, it was mine.'That's the kind of man to start a world with.The Supreme Brahma said: 'I will save her, but not thee.' And then she spoke out of her fullness of love, out of a heart in which there was love enough to make all her daughters rich in holy affection, and said: 'If thou wilt not spare him, spare neither me; I do not wish to live without him; I love him.' Then the Supreme Brahma said—and I have liked him ever since I read it—'I will spare you both and watch over you and your children forever.'Honor bright, is not that the better and grander story?
We wanted more than anything else in the world to be normal, but we failed.” The 1960’s and 1970’s were very strange times, but Mandy missed it all, she missed the days when Super-8 was the popular film type, when music had lyrics that made you think, when movies had powerful meanings instead of bad comedy and when people would just walk to a friend’s house for the afternoon instead of texting in bed all day. She missed soda fountains and department stores and non-biodegradable plastic grocery bags, she wished cellphones, bad pop music and LED lights didn’t exist… she hated how everything had a diagnosis or pill now, how people who didn’t fit in with modern, lazy society were just prescribed medications without a second thought… she hated how old, reliable cars were replaced with cheap hybrid vehicles… she hated how everything could be done online, so that people could just ignore each other… the world was becoming much more convenient, but at the same time, less human, and her teenage life was considered nostalgic history now.Hanging her head low, avoiding the slightly confused stare of the cab driver through the rear view mirror, she started crying uncontrollably, her tears soaking the collar of her coat as the sun blared through the windows in a warm light.
Casey came over and apologized. I guess he made a mistake, and it's very easy to make a mistake when you're running three-wide like that. It's pretty intense. I'd say he slipped up and made a mistake and I guess we're lucky the damage isn't worse than what it is. These front fenders are so sensitive. We did get our right front fender banged a little bit.
I think," Tehanu said in her soft, strange voice, "that when I die, I can breathe back the breath that made me live. I can give back to the world all that I didn't do. All that I might have been and couldn't be. All the choices I didn't make. All the things I lost and spent and wasted. I can give them back to the world. To the lives that haven't been lived yet. That will be my gift back to the world that gave me the life I did live, the love I loved, the breath I breathed.
And when she at last came out, her eyes were dry. Her parents stared up from their silent breakfast at her. They both started to rise but she put a hand out, stopped them. ‘I can care for myself, please,’ and she set about getting some food. They watched her closely. In point of fact, she had never looked as well. She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, and an ocean sadder. This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering. She was eighteen. She was the most beautiful woman in a hundred years. She didn’t seem to care. ‘You’re all right?’ her mother asked.Buttercup sipped her cocoa. ‘Fine,’ she said.‘You’re sure?’ her father wondered.‘Yes,’ Buttercup replied. There was a very long pause. ‘But I must never love again.’She never did.
Then one morning she’d begun to feel her sorrow easing, like something jagged that had cut into her so long it had finally dulled its edges, worn itself down. That same day Rachel couldn’t remember which side her father had parted his hair on, and she’d realized again what she’d learned at five when her mother left – that what made losing someone you loved bearable was not remembering but forgetting. Forgetting the small things first, the smell of the soap her mother had bathed with, the color of the dress she’d worn to church, then after a while the sound of her mother’s voice, the color of her hair. It amazed Rachel how much you could forget, and everything you forgot made that person less alive inside you until you could finally endure it. After more time passed you could let yourself remember, even want to remember. But even then what you felt those first days could return and remind you the grief that was still there, like old barbed wire embedded in a tree’s heartwood. (51)
Come up into the hills, O my young love. Return! O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again, as first I knew you in the timeless valley, where we shall feel ourselves anew, bedded on magic in the month of June. There was a place where all the sun went glistening in your hair, and from the hill we could have put a finger on a star. Where is the day that melted into one rich noise? Where the music of your flesh, the rhyme of your teeth, the dainty languor of your legs, your small firm arms, your slender fingers, to be bitten like an apple, and the little cherry-teats of your white breasts? And where are all the tiny wires of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the mouths of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this loveliness. You who were made for music, will hear music no more: in your dark house the winds are silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that marriage that we did not foresee, return not into life, but into magic, where we have never died, into the enchanted wood, where we still life, strewn on the grass. Come up into the hills, O my young love: return. O lost, and by the wind grieved ghost, come back again.
What do you expect? Think we were sent into the world to have a soft time and what is it? Float on flowery beds of ease? Think Man was just made to be happy?- Why not? Though I've never discovered anybody that knew what the deuce Man really was made for!- Well, we know not just in the Bible alone, but it stands to reason a man who doesn't buckle down and do his duty, even if it does bore him sometimes, is nothing but a... well, he's simply a weakling. Mollycoddle, in fact! And what do you advocate? Come down to cases! If a man is bored by his wife, do you seriously mean he has a right to chuck her and take a sneak, or even kill himself?- Good Lord, I don't know what 'rights' a man has! And I don't know the solution of boredom. If I did, I'd be the one philosopher that had the cure for living. But I do know that about ten times as many people find their lives dull, and unnecessarily dull, as ever admit it; and I do believe that if we busted out and admitted it sometimes, instead of being nice and patient and loyal for sixty years, and then nice and patient and dead for the rest of eternity, why, maybe, possibly, we might make life more fun.
The interruption did nothing but earn her a similar slap, as I’m sure she knew it would. Sometimes I wondered if my mother spoke up at the wrong time on purpose. As often as we endured my father’s abuse, she had to be aware that it wouldn’t save me from a beating but simply earn her one as well. Or was it that sharing my fate made her feel less guilt-ridden about those things that happened to me?
It is a world that is made of love. Did you think there is only the kind of love your sister has for her husband? Did you think there must be here, a man with whiskers, and over here, a lady in a gown? Haven't I said, there are no whiskers and gowns where spirits are? And what will your sister do if her husband should die, and she should take another? Who will she fly to then, when she has crossed the spheres? For she will fly to someone, we will all fly to someone, we will all return to that piece of shining matter from which our souls were torn with another, two halves of the same.
Isn't she doing this too? Connecting and disconnecting. Facing grief then turning from it. One minute she is caught up in minutiae. Will her feet get sore standing in heels at the church? Have they made enough food? Will the kitten get scared by dozens of strangers in the house? Should she shut him in a room upstairs? The next moment she is weeping uncontrollably, taken over by pain so profound she can barely move. Then there was the salad bowl incident; her own fury scared her. But maybe these are different ways of dealing with events for all of them. Molly and Luke are infantile echos of her, their emotions paired down, their reactions simpler but similar. For if they have difficulty taking in what has happened, then so too does she. Why is she dressing up, for instance? Why can't she wear clothes to reflect the fact that she is at her lowest end? A tracksuit, a jumper full of holes, dirty jeans? Why can't she leave her hair a mess, her face unmade up? The crazed and grieving Karen doesn't care about her appearance. Yet she must go through with this charade, polish herself and her children to perfection. She, in particular, must hold it together. Oh, she can cry, yes, that's allowed. People expect that. They will sympathize. But what about screaming, howling, and hurling plates like she did yesterday? She imagines the shocked faces as she shouts and swears and smashes everything. But she is so angry, surely others must feel the same. Maybe a plate throwing ceremony would be a more fitting ritual than church, then everyone could have a go...smashing crockery up against the back garden wall.
The lives of scientists, considered as Lives, almost always make dull reading. For one thing, the careers of the famous and the merely ordinary fall into much the same pattern, give or take an honorary degree or two, or (in European countries) an honorific order. It could be hardly otherwise. Academics can only seldom lead lives that are spacious or exciting in a worldly sense. They need laboratories or libraries and the company of other academics. Their work is in no way made deeper or more cogent by privation, distress or worldly buffetings. Their private lives may be unhappy, strangely mixed up or comic, but not in ways that tell us anything special about the nature or direction of their work. Academics lie outside the devastation area of the literary convention according to which the lives of artists and men of letters are intrinsically interesting, a source of cultural insight in themselves. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility; if a historian were to fail (as Ruskin did) to consummate his marriage, we should not suppose that our understanding of historical scholarship had somehow been enriched.
There were worse things than death.There would be a leap and a moment suspended, then a long hopeless curve to the rocks and river below. They would fall like leaves between clouds of swifts and then be washed away by the thundering rapids. Bramble clung to that thought. If their bodies washed away then there could be no identification, no danger of reprisals on her family. She hung on tighter.The roan's hindquarters bunched under her and they were in the air. It was like she had imagined: the leap, and then the moment suspended in air that seemed to last forever.Below her the swifts boiled up through the river mist, swerving and swooping, while she and the roan seemed to stay frozen above them. Bramble felt, like a rush of air, the presence of the gods surround her. The shock made her lose her balance and begin to slide sideways.She felt herself falling. With an impossible flick of both legs, the roan shrugged her back onto his shoulders. Then the long curve downward and she braced herself to see the cliffs rushing past as they fell.Time to die.Instead she felt a thumping jolt that flung her from the roan's back and tossed her among the rocks at the cliff's edge on the other side.On the other side.Her sight cleared, although the light still seemed dim. Her hearing came back a little. On the other side of the abyss a jumble of men and hounds were milling, shouting, astonished and very angry. "You can't do that!" one yelled. "It's impossible!""Well, he shagging did it!" another said. "Can't be impossible!""Head for the bridge!" Beck shouted. "We can still get him! I want that horse!
She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?
Each death laid a dreadful charge of complicity on the living; each death was incongenerous, its guilt irreducible, its sadness immortal; a bracelet of bright hair about the bone. I did not pray for her, because prayer has no efficacy; I did not cry for her, because only extroverts cry twice; I sat in the silence of that night, that infinite hostility to man, to permanence, to love, remembering her, remembering her.
I don't think immediate tragedy is a very good source of art. It can be, but too often it's raw and painful and un-dealt-with. Sometimes art can be a really good escape from the intolerable, and a good place to go when things are bad, but that doesn't mean you have to write directly about the bad thing; sometimes you need to let time pass, and allow the thing that hurts to get covered with layers, and then you take it out, like a pearl, and you make art out of it.When my father died, on the plane from his funeral in the UK back to New York, still in shock, I got out my notebook and wrote a script. It was a good place to go, the place that script was, and I went there so deeply and so far that when we landed Maddy had to tap me on the arm to remind me that I had to get off the plane now. (She says I looked up at her, puzzled, and said "But I want to find out what happens next.") It was where I went and what I did to cope, and I was amazed, some weeks later when I pulled out that notebook to start typing, to find that I'd written pretty much the entire script in that six hour journey.
What made America great was her ability to transform her own dream into hope for all mankind. America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who -- with their hands, their intelligence and their heart -- built the greatest nation in the world: ‘Come, and everything will be given to you.’ She said: ‘Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.
But the thing which had made him fall for her, fall properly, was the way she seemed so calm and so quiet and so sad. Surrounded by noisy bankers showing off, and their variously pushy or beady or anxious or competitive wives, she seemed to be from somewhere else; a place where people carried their own burdens; a grander and realer and more honourable place. Roger didn't know that Matya spent a lot of that evening thinking about home, but he could tell that she was thinking about something, and it was that other thing which, for him, did it.
Her bed felt huge and empty now, and when she slept, she did so with her arm around a pillow. She dreamed of him almost every night, sometimes good dreams of happy days and joyful times; often they were terrible dreams of abandonment, loss and sorrow. She didn't know which was worse: every morning she woke afresh to the knowledge that he was gone and he would never come back. It would never be all right again.