Simone Weil wrote, “All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception.”
I had spent years trying to understand what she meant, but I think I was beginning to comprehend now – that there are those supernatural physics that allow for a flower to be stronger than an entire war. We can call that flower beauty, or grace, or hope. What is sure is that which is beautiful not only saves us, but it also belongs to the eternal, while the terrible passes away. Borders do not last. The names of countries do not last. And the names of flowers, they, too, do not last. But flowers themselves remain. Music remains. Certain phrases from childhood, sewn into our memories, passed down imperceptibly in the way we speak to children, they also remain, and will continue to after we are gone.
Lemon trees. Fig trees. Stories remain.
I had seen jars from the Roman period, unexpectedly lifted up from the bowels of the sea, intact, after two thousand years.
Love remains, above all.
That night, while my husband and son were sleep in their beds, I made a list of what lasts: snowdrops and periwinkles, lullabies and prayers. And I knew that we don’t just carry beauty but that we cling to it, as a resistance against gravity. That perhaps, in the ed, that is the single task we must set out to do in our lives
– Stephanie Saldana, A Country Between
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