You can forget that other people carry pieces of your own story around in their heads. I've always thought--put together all those random pieces form everyone who's ever known you from your parents to the guy who once sat next to you on a bus, and you'd probably see a fuller version of your life than you even did while living it.
The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage.Dare to breach the surface and sink.
I have only to contemplate myself; man comes from nothing, passes through time, and disappears forever in the bosom of God. He is seen but for a moment wandering on the verge of two abysses, and then is lost.If man were wholly ignorant of himself he would have no poetry in him, for one cannot describe what one does not conceive. If he saw himself clearly, his imagination would remain idle and would have nothing to add to the picture. But the nature of man is sufficiently revealed for him to know something of himself and sufficiently veiled to leave much impenetrable darkness, a darkness in which he ever gropes, forever in vain, trying to understand himself.
...Imagine that you yourself are building the edifice of human destiny with the object of making people happy in the finale, of giving them peace and rest at last, but for that you must inevitably and unavoidably torture just one tiny creature, that same child who was beating her chest with her little fist, and raise your edifice on the foundation of her unrequited tears--would you agree to be the architect on such conditions?
From a distance,' he says, 'my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she's going to get help, she'll get it from herself or she'll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn't know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven't found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.'Jesus. I feel tears welling up, and I see them running down Ellerby's cheeks. Lemry better get a handle on this class before it turns into some kind of therapy group.So,' Lemry says quietly, 'your subject will be the juxtaposition of man and God in the universe?'Ellerby shakes his head. 'My subject will be shame.