Writing, painting, singing--it cannot stop everything. Cannot halt death in its tracks. But perhaps it can make the pause between death's footsteps sound and look and feel beautiful, can make the space of waiting a place where you can linger without as much fear. For we are all walking each other to our deaths, and the journey there between footsteps makes up our lives.
What is it that dies? A log of wood dies to become a few planks. The planks die to become a chair. The chair dies to become a piece of firewood, and the firewood dies to become ash. You give different names to the different shapes the wood takes, but the basic substance is there always. If we could always remember this, we would never worry about the loss of anything. We never lose anything; we never gain anything. By such discrimination we put an end to unhappiness. (118-119)
He would not now conduct little Nell to the coast; he would not convey her by a steamer to Port Said, would not surrender her to Mr. Rawlinson; he himself would not fall into his father's arms and would not hear from his lips that he had acted like a true Pole! The end, the end! In a few days the sun would shine only upon the lifeless bodies and afterwards would dry them up into a semblance of those mummies which slumber in an eternal sleep in the museums in Egypt
She wasted and grew so thin that she no longer was a little girl, but the shadow of a little girl. The flame of her life flickered so faintly that it appeared sufficient to blow at it to extinguish it. Stas understood that death did not have to wait for a third attack to take her and he expected it any day or any hour.
Her body accepted my brutal seed and took it to swell within, just as the patient earth accepts a falling fruit into its tender soil to cradle and nourish it to grow. Came a time, just springtime last, our infant child pushed through the fragile barrier of her womb. Her legs branched out, just as the wood branches out from these eternal trees around us; but she was not hardy as they. My wife groaned with blood and ceased to breathe. Aye!, a scornful eve that bred the kind of pain only a god can withstand.