I read a lot this summer. I re-read some, too. One book I picked up again for the first time in years was To the Lighthouse. It was my copy from college, and I loved seeing the underlining. So many passages jumped out at me, then and now.
To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.
…she had known happiness, exquisite happiness, intense happiness, and it silvered the rough waves a little more brightly, as daylight faded, and the blue went out of the sea and it rolled in waves of pure lemon which curved and swelled and broke upon the beach and the ecstasy burst in her eyes and waves of pure delight raced over the floor of her mind and she felt, It is enough! It is enough!
…there is a coherence in things, a stability; something, she meant, is immune from change, and shines out (she glance at the window with its ripple of reflected lights) in the face of the flowing, the fleeting, the spectral, like a ruby; so that again tonight she had the feeling she had had once today, already, of peace, of rest. Of such moments, she thought, the thing is made that endures.
What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark…
Was there no safety? No learning by heart the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown?
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