--Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
I could wake her up and ask have you ever been to the ocean? but I already know that answer. She has not. You can tell. It would humble you I whisper to her sleeping if you for one time stood by something stronger than yourself.
--Kaye Gibbons, Ellen Foster
When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.
--John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany
But it's a curse, a condemnation, like an act of provocation, to have been aroused from not being, to have been conjured up from a clot of dirt and hay and lit on fire and sent stumbling among the rocks and bones of this ruthless earth to weep and worry and wreak havoc and ponder little more than the impending return to oblivion, to invent hopes that are as elaborate as they are fraudulent and poorly constructed, and that burn off the moment they are dedicated, if not before, and are at best only true as we invent them for ourselves or tell them to others, around a fire, in a hovel, while we all freeze or starve or plot or contemplate treachery or betrayal or murder or despair of love, or make daughters and elaborately rejoice in them so that when they are cut down even more despair can be wrung from our hearts, which prove only to have been made for the purpose of being broken. And worse still, because broken hearts continue beating.
--Paul Harding, Enon
Child In Red
Sometimes she walks through the village in her
little red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.
She runs a bit, hesitates, stops,
and, all while dreaming, shakes her head
for or against.
Then she dances a few steps
that she invents and forgets,
no doubt finding out that life
moves on too fast.
It's not so much that she steps out
of the small body enclosing her,
but that all she carries in herself
frolics and ferments.
It's this dress that she'll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right.
--Rainer Maria Rilke