You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman: Stuff you pay good money for in later life.
When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to.
With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.
All the tiny things made this mammoth union up, all the times he had picked her up from Sutherland station, made her chicken salad rolls and brought her a Lipton's iced tea, called her about Sunday and fixed Nina's shed door hinge, held her and not fucked her when she was dying with period pain, thought of what she said last night and made something of it the following afternoon, all these unspectacular deposits of love he had made and they were the currency, earning enough to have her see that he was nothing but the right one.
It almost felt like we were driving in our own world--like we were inside a snow globe--and there was music and sunlight and smiles and laughter floating in the air. And it was all self-contained in a beautiful bubble filled with glittering water that made things seem a little unreal, a little dream-like and hazy.
There are, as we know, powerful and illustrious atheists. At bottom, led back to the truth by their very force, they are not absolutely sure that they are atheists; it is with them only a question of definition, and in any case, if they do not believe in God, being great minds, they prove God.