Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees. These pages seek nothing more than to echo the silence and peace that is “heard” when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests.
But what can the wind say when there is no hearer?
There is then a deeper silence: the silence in which the Hearer is No-Hearer. That deeper silence must be heard before one can speak truly of solitude.
Love lays siege to each being and seeks to discover an opening, a path leading into the heart, by means of which love can permeate everywhere. The difference between the sinner and the saint is that the sinner closes his heart to love while the saint opens himself to this same love. In both cases the love is the same and the pressure is the same.
… when I open a book I feel the shape of another human being’s brain. To me, Nabokov’s brain is shaped like a helter-skelter. George Eliot’s is like one of those pans for sifting gold. Austen’s resembles one of the glass flowers you find in Harvard’s Natural History Museum. Each has strengths and weaknesses, as I apply them to the test of my own sensibility. I can slide down Nabokov, but not slowly, and not fully under my own control. I can find what’s precious with Eliot, but only hidden among mundane grey stones of some weight. Austen makes me alive to the Beautiful and the Proportional, but the final result has no scent and is cold to the touch.