Awe.

As DFW said, sometimes a piece of writing will pierce you right through the heart. This is such writing for me at this moment:

And all the names of the tribes, the nomads of faith who walked in the monotone of the desert and saw brightness and faith and colour. The way a stone or found metal box or bone can become loved and turn eternal in a prayer. Such glory of this country she enters now and becomes part of. We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography– to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.

-Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, 261

Timely, I think.

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2 thoughts on “Awe.

  1. I love Ondaatje. He’s one of my favorite authors and The English Patient is one of my favorite books. Have you read Anil’s Ghost? If not, I highly recommend it, as well as Coming Through Slaughter. You should also check out his poetry if you haven’t already.

    1. I’ve only read The English Patient and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (which is quite well-done, by the way). I’ll definitely have to check out the rest – thanks for the recommendations!

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