When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. It just didn't make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world. Who cared? It was not pointless only to him; and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too. More important: Not only would it pointless, it would pointless all along.This was an obscure and rather difficult point to grasp. Understanding of it kept slipping in and out on the edges of his mind. It flickered, changing its time sense and tenses. At those moments when he understood it, it left him with a very hollow feeling.
That's for the best. Otherwise they might realize they're in prison. It can't be helped. You women are used to harems and prisons. A person can spend his whole life between four walls. If he doesn't think or feel that he's a prisoner, then he's not a prisoner. But then there are people for whom the whole planet is a prison, who see the infinite expanse of the universe, the millions of stars and galaxies that remain forever inaccessible to them. And that awareness makes them the greatest prisoners of time and space.
Part of the problem with the word 'disabilities' is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.
But what was there to say?Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons. Only that there was a snuffling in the hollows at the base of a lovely throat. Only that a hard honey-colored shoulder had a semicircle of teethmarks on it. Only that they held each other close, long after it was over. Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief.Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
I step back further, until I feel cold tiles against my back. It is then I get the glimmer that I associate with memory. As my mind tries to settle on it, it flutters away, like ashes caught in a breeze, and I realize that in my life there is a then, a before, though before what I cannot say, and there is a now, and there is nothing between the two but a long, silent emptiness that has led me here, to me and him, in this house.
Love is not an exclusive relationship with another person; love is the quality that arises when we are in contact with our inner being, with our authentic self, with the meditative quality within, with the inner silence and emptiness. This inner emptiness is experienced by others and is expressed on the outside as love. This love is not addressed to a specific person; it is a presence and quality that surrounds a person like a fragrance.
The presence of the inner feeling of emptiness directs our attention to a past experience of guilt and to our inner feeling awareness of the cause in the past. We must be sensitive to that feeling and accept it in order to chase down the cause, ferret it out, reassess the value of the experience to us in order not to further project the blame in anger outward to an external cause.
Quand il mangeait des babas ou des éclairs, il se sentait coupable jusqu'? l'âme, ? cause de la guerre, ? cause des vendeuses dont les maris ou les amants se trouvaient sans doute quelque part, entre la mer du Nord et les Vosges. Mais il comprenait que Madeleine avait besoin de cette nourriture, justement pour tenir en échec ce vide, ce néant, cette nuit où elle était toujours sur le point de sombrer.