Four quotes from The Gone-Away World
, which may or may not make well enough sense outside the context of the book. No new ideas in any of them, but I really liked them as I read through.
...a sound marriage, which is a thing to be embarked upon solemnly and with due thought to the consequences and on the understanding that to love is an action, a verb, a thing of choice, and this can be promised and delivered where in love is a more tenuous and fragile thing which may come and go with the wind and the seasons.
Most people, when they pray, have a notion of where the words are going. They have in mind God the Bearded, God the Robed, God the Absent Father sitting on a cloud going through his postbag. My prayer is in a blank envelope, left sitting at a bus stop. Anyone who is interested can pick it up and open it. Anyone, in fact, who wants to be God --to me, at least-- can slip their thumb between the flap and the body of the envelope and crack the seal, and discover my one, solemn wish[...].All they have to do, to get into my personal pantheon, is deliver the appropriate miracle. In the meantime, though, I'm working on the basis that the letter will sit there and get brushed off the back of the bench and into the gutter, and then a rainstorm will wash it into the sewer system where it will get sodden and mouldy, and the ink will fade and the paper turn to sludge, and my prayer will just fade away unread, as they mostly seem to.
We all carry a multitude of ghosts around with us: impressions of other people, strong or weak, deep from long acquaintances or shallow with brevity. Those ghosts are maps, updated with each encounter, made detailed, judged, liked or disliked. They are [...] all we can ever really know of the other people in the world.
...you need to ask that woman to marry you. She's your beating heart and every drop of blood in your veins, but in the small dark hours before the dawn she worries maybe she's not enough.