When people pose the question, are you “coxom”, Tom Conrad? I like to pose a question back at them: Is J.K. Rowling actually a witch? Is Thomas Harris the no. 1 serial killer in the the US, did Yann Martell really spend a lifetime eating pie?Of course, as far as I know J.K. Rowling is not a witch, but instead is a rather lovely and talented writer. As for that Thomas Harris (equally talented), I very much suspect he isn’t actually a serial killer at all, or if he is, he’s involved in the biggest case of double bluff… ever! As for Yann Martell, well, as everyone with half a brain knows his book is actually concerned with a mathematical constant, so ignore the dumb pie joke. Hm :/
You might have noticed that I have been sending you used books. I have done this not to save money, but to make a point which is that a used book, unlike a used car, hasn't lost any of its initial value. A good story rolls of the lot into the hands of its new reader as smoothly as the day it was written. And there's another reason for these used paperbacks that never cost much even when new; I like the idea of holding a book that someone else has held, of eyes running over lines that have already seen the light of other eyes. That, in one image, is the community of readers, is the communion of literature.
And so, when she heard if Hare Krishnas, she didn't hear right. She heard "Hairless Christians", and that is what they were to her for many years. When I corrected her, I told her in fact she was not so wrong; that Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims.
But it was hard, oh, it was hard. Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love--but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation, and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up.
Atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word they speak speaks of faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them -- and then they leap.
Books, like people, can't be reduced to the cost of the materials with which they were made. Books, like people, become unique and precious once you get to know them.
The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud .
Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love.I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.
How do you live with evil? Art is traditionally - certainly with my secular background - the answer, but art is very self-referential, whereas religion claims to go beyond the bounds of human existence.
I did not grasp all these details - and many more - right away. They came to my notice with time and as a result of necessity. I would be in the direst of dire straits, facing a bleak future, when some small thing, some detail, would transform itself and appear in my mind in a new light. It would no longer be the small thing it was before, but the most important thing in the world, the thing that would save my life. This happened time and again. How true it is that necessity is the mother of invention, how very true.