you had to trust sleep when it came

From Lila by Marilynne Robinson: “What?” he said. The worrying had worn him out. He gave a sermon once about the disciples sleeping at Gethsemane because they were weary with grief. Sleep is such a mercy, he said. It was a mercy even then. “I’ve just never had the care of a child.” “We’ll beContinue reading “you had to trust sleep when it came”

if she ever took to praying it would be for that time and all those people

From Lila by Marilynne Robinson: She meant to ask him sometime how praying is different from worrying. His face was about as strained and Weary as it could be. White as it could be. Now here she was again, worrying over people who were long past help. You can’t even pray for someone to haveContinue reading “if she ever took to praying it would be for that time and all those people”

seems like everything means something

It was useless, except for the use they made of it, remembering together. There wasn’t much that felt worse than losing that shawl. There is no speech nor language; their voice is not heard. That’s true about things. It’s true about people. It’s just true. …Lila told the child, “The world has been here soContinue reading “seems like everything means something”

words so terrible you heard them with your whole body

And there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads; when they stood, they let down their wings. She didn’t want to know what the verse meant, what the creatures were. She knew there were words so terrible you heard them with your whole body. Guilty. And there were voices to sayContinue reading “words so terrible you heard them with your whole body”

no need for any of it

Why did they waste candles on daylight? Him standing there, talking about people dead who knows how long, if the stories about them were even true, and most of the people listening, or trying to listen. There was no need for any of it. The days came and went on their own, without any prayingContinue reading “no need for any of it”

transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful

How could she know what he had sanctified to that child’s mind with his stories, sad stories that had made them laugh. …As if all that saving and keeping their father had done was providence indeed, and new love would transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful. From Home by Marilynne Robinson.

enough to make me hope there’s a minute or two between death and perdition

“It was all horrible enough to be funny, I suppose. Now that it’s over.” “Yes, there’s always that to look forward to.” Then he shrugged and said, “It’s enough to make me hope there’s a minute or two between death and perdition.” Marilynne Robinson in Home.

how oddly holiness situated itself among the things of the world

Glory had kept most of the habits of her pious youth. Morning and evening she took her Bible out to the porch and read two or three chapters. …What a strange old book it was. How oddly holiness situated itself among the things of the world, how endlessly creation wrenched and strained under the burdenContinue reading “how oddly holiness situated itself among the things of the world”

we should think of our humanity as a privilege

You are depriving yourself if you do not experience what humankind has experienced, including doubt and sorrow. We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it. We shouldContinue reading “we should think of our humanity as a privilege”

to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light

It has seemed to me Sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance—for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything toContinue reading “to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light”