I hope I do not offend God by making my Communions in the frame of mind I have been describing. The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
Accidents happen, whether they're car accidents, friendly fire, drug overdoses. Accidents happen, and they're tragic. It's like a bomb that goes off and pieces of shrapnel rip into the flesh of the family. It's the families that need the compassion, because everywhere they walk, every day, someone reminds them of their loss.
Nick drank the coffee, the coffee according to Hopkins. The coffee was bitter. Nick laughed. It made a good ending to the story. His mind was starting to work. He knew he could choke it because he was tired enough. He spilled the coffee out of the pot and shook the grounds loose into the fire. He lit a cigarette and went inside the tent. He took off his shoes and trousers, sitting on the blankets, rolled the shoes up inside the trousers for a pillow and got in between the blankets.Out through the front of the tent he watched the glow of the fire when the night wind blew on it. It was a quiet night. The swamp was perfectly quiet. Nick stretched under the blanket comfortably. A mosquito hummed close to his ear. Nick sat up and lit a match. The mosquito was on the canvas, over his head. Nick moved the match quickly up to it. The mosquito made a satisfactory hiss in the flame. The match went out. Nick lay down again under the blankets. He turned on his side and shut his eyes. He was sleepy. He felt sleep coming. He curled up under the blanket and went to sleep.
Sophie said to me once that she was glad she had been scarred. She said that whoever loved her now would love her true self, and not her pretty face. This is your true self, Tessa. This power is who you are. Whoever loves you now--and you must also love yourself--will love the truth of you.
I think, well, I've had a shit of a life, all things considered. It wasn't fair. Everyone I've ever loved is dead, and my leg hurts all the bloody time...but I think, any God that can do sunsets like that, a different one every night...'strewth, well, you've got to respect the old bastard, haven't you?
My sister's bringing up had made me sensitive. In the little world in which children have their existence whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice. It may be only small injustice that the child can be exposed to; but the child is small, and its world is small, and its rocking-horse stands as many hands high, according to scale, as a big-boned Irish hunter. Within myself, I had sustained, from my babyhood, a perpetual conflict with injustice. I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me. I had cherished a profound conviction that her bringing me up by hand, gave her no right to bring me up by jerks. Through all my punishments, disgraces, fasts and vigils, and other penitential performances, I had nursed this assurance; and to my communing so much with it, in a solitary and unprotected way, I in great part refer the fact that I was morally timid and very sensitive.
But to be perfectly frank, this childish idea that the author of a novel has some special insight into the characters in the novel...it's ridiculous. That novel was composed of scratches on a page, dear. The characters inhabiting it have no life outside of those scratches. What happened to them? They all ceased to exist the moment the novel ended.
My parents started with very little and were the only ones in their families to graduate from college. As parents, they focused on education, but did not stop at academics - they made sure that we knew music, saw art and theatre and traveled - even though it meant budgeting like crazy.