"Anyone watching a ship from land is no judge of its seaworthiness, for the vital part is always underwater. It can’t be seen. ’Why did he do it?’ we ask of the conventional professor who runs off with his student. And of the doting girl who breaks her engagement: ‘Why didn’t she?’ It’s what we always ask of others’ lives. Luck was all before them, fortune and happiness; for some reason they turned and stepped off the precipice. What vision did they see there? Passion and beauty explain nothing- these stories are everywhere, and few of us are beautiful. The balance tilts both rich and poor. It might be the folly of youth, or the whims of old age, but this madness does not discriminate: an old widower about to remarry might change his mind, his middle-aged children in the pews, and be unable to state his reason. What could he say that would not sound like folly? We think we know people, and dismiss the scenes as aberrations, as the lightening strikes of madness, but surely we are wrong. Surely these are the truest moments of their lives…We cannot know until one day the vision appears to us: that chances are few, and death comes soon enough. Take rapture if it’s in your grasp; take love if you can reach it…"
The Story of a Marriage
One of the most lyrical, thought-provoking, beautiful and tragically truthful things I’ve ever read.
"Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries."