This is what I want. I want people to take care of me. I want them to force comfort upon me. I want the soft-pillow feeling that I associate with memories of being ill when I was younger, soft pillows and fresh linens and satin-edged blankets and hot chocolate. It's not so much the comfort itself as knowing there's someone who wants to take care of you.
Hope had finally learned to live in the present. Often, when she found herself in a space of tremendous comfort, usually out in nature, or when her children were safe all around her and on the verge of going to bed, she forced herself to take stock. Here you are, Hope, she told herself. What a beautiful moment. You may never again be here at this spot, enjoying the calm. This habit of hers, to acknowledge the immediate and elusive joy of the present, kept her sane.
Miss Morstan and I stood together, and her hand was in mine. A wondrous subtle thing is love, for here were we two, who had never seen each other until that day, between whom no word or even look of affection had ever passed, and yet now in an hour of trouble our hands instinctively sought for each other. I have marveled at it since, but at the time it seemed the most natural thing that I would go out to her so, and, as she has often told me, there was in her also the instinct to turn to me for comfort and protection. So we stood hand in hand like two children, and there was peace in our hearts for all the dark things that surrounded us.
Now you see. We are all fugitives. We have always been fugitives from the void. Whatever comfort, whatever power we gain from outside of ourselves diminishes us -- because comfort and power, unless they are won from the void inside of us, are illusions that make us forget the emptyness that carries us. When we forget that, we believe we deserve comfort and power and so are capable of any evil. We deserve nothing but what we make of ourselves. We deserve nothing else. And when we understand that, then nothing is enough.
Sitting on the porch alone, listening to them fixing supper, he felt again the indignation he had felt before, the sense of loss and the aloneness, the utter defenselessness that was each man's lot, sealed up in his bee cell from all the others in the world. But the smelling of boiling vegetables and pork reached him from the inside, the aloneness left him for a while. The warm moist smell promised other people lived and were preparing supper.He listened to the pouring and the thunder rumblings that sounded hollow like they were in a rainbarrel, shared the excitement and the coziness of the buzzing insects that had sought refuge on the porch, and now and then he slapped detachedly at the mosquitoes, making a sharp crack in the pouring buzzing silence. The porch sheltered him from all but the splashes of the drops that hit the floor and their spray touched him with a pleasant chill. And he was secure, because someewhere out beyond the wall of water humanity still existed, and was preparing supper.
You see, because [Norfolk is] stuck out here on the east, on this hump jutting into the sea, it's not on the way to anywhere. People going north and south, they bypass it altogether. For that reason, it's a peaceful corner of England, rather nice. But it's also something of a lost corner.'Someone claimed after the lesson that Miss Emily had said Norfolk was England's 'lost corner' because that was were all the lost property found in the country ended up.Ruth said one evening, looking out at the sunset, that 'when we lost something precious, and we'd looked and looked and still couldn't find it, then we didn't have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day, when we were grown up, and we were free to travel the country, we could always go and find it again in Norfolk.
We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.
Anxiously you ask, 'Is there a way to safety? Can someone guide me? Is there an escape from threatened destruction?' The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you: Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, 'This way to safety; this way to home.
In suiting the action to the words, however, I perceived that the stars were all wrong.That was my undoing. I had looked up unthinkingly, anticipating the familiar, and, finding it gone, began to cry like a baby. Whereupon Peter stopped the gig and took me in his arms, kissing me so that my face was soon sore both from kissing and crying.
I continue to stare, my eyes missing nothing, remembering the moments we just shared together. But in all that time she does not look back, and I am haunted by the visions of her struggling with unseen enemies. I sit by the bedside with an aching back and start to cry as I pick up the notebook. Allie does not notice. I understand, for her mind is gone. A couple pages fall to the floor, and I bend over to pick them up. I am tired now, so I sit, alone and apart from my wife. And when the nurses come in they see two people they must comfort. A woman shaking in fear from demons in her mind, and the old man who loves her more deeply than life itself, crying softly in the corner, his face in his hands.