Words for the Soul

All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way – if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy.

–John Knowles, A Separate Peace

I willed myself to stay awake, but the rain was so soft and the room was so warm and his voice was so deep and his knee was so snug that I slept.

Seconds later, it seemed, his shoe was gently nudging my ribs.  He lifted me to my feet and walked me to my room.

“Heard every word you said,” I muttered. “…wasn’t sleep at all, ‘s about a ship an’ Three-Fingered Fred ‘n’ Stoner’s Boy…”

He unhooked my overalls, leaned me against him, and pulled them off.  He held me up with one hand and reached for my pajamas with the other.

“Yeah, an’ they all thought it was Stoner’s Boy messin’ up their clubhouse an’ throwin’ ink all over it an’…”

He guided me to the bed and sat me down.  He lifted my legs and put me under the cover.

“An’ they chased him ‘n’ never could catch him ’cause they didn’t know what he looked like, an’ Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things…Atticus, he was real nice…”

His hands  were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me.

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room.  He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.
–Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

Faith, like beauty, is complicated by the eye.  To find both, I had to learn to see with something more.  Jesus said that with faith, you can move mountains.  Whenever I return to that little town in Pennsylvania, I drive through the hills winking one eye, then the other.  I watch the horizon jump to the right, to the left, to the right. By closing the eye, I move mountains.
–Bethany Pierce, Feeling for Bones

The Death of Leo Gursky
Leopold Gursky started dying on August 18, 1920.
He died learning to walk.
He died standing at the blackboard.
And once, also, carrying a heavy tray.
He died practicing a new way to sign his name.
Opening a window.
Washing his genitals in the bath.
He died alone, because he was too embarrassed to phone anyone.
Or he died thinking about Alma.
Or when he chose not to.
Really, there isn’t much to say.
He was a great writer.
He fell in love.
It was his life.
                                       –Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

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