Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which mangles me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. Watching a peaceful death reminds us of a falling star.
For need can blossom into all the compensations it requires. To crave and to have are as like a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is that taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know anything so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing — the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smoothes our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.
We are led one thing at a time through gain to that pure gain — all that we lose.
And what of the dead? I own that I thought of myself, at times, almost as dead. Are they not locked below ground in chambers smaller than mine was, in their millions of millions? There is no category of human activity in which the dead do not outnumber the living many times over. Most beautiful children are dead. Most soldiers, most cowards. The fairest women and the most learned men — all are dead. Their bodies repose in caskets, in sarcophagi, beneath arches of rude stone, everywhere under the earth. Their spirits haunt our minds, ears pressed to the bones of our foreheads. Who can say how intently they listen as we speak, or for what word?
He was comforted by one of the simpler emotions which some human beings are lucky enough to experience. He knew when he died he would be watched by someone he loved.
The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his old wife.
Marriage is tough, because it is woven of all these various elements, the weak and the strong. “In loveness” is fragile for it is woven only with the gossamer threads of beauty. It seems to me absurd to talk about “happy” and “unhappy” marriages.
Most marriages recognize this paradox: passion destroys passion; we want what puts an end to wanting what we want.
After ecstasy, the laundry.
Their lives had intertwined into a comfortable dependency, like the gnarled wisteria on their front porch, still twisted around the frail support which long ago it had outgrown.
Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
When all of the remedies and all of the rhetorical armor have been dropped, the absence of love in our lives is what makes them seem raw and unfinished.