Each of us has been made “a little lower than the angels.” What an incomprehensible compliment! But it’s not only a compliment; it’s also a responsibility, for our special status equalizes us with other people in the eyes of God. The Lord has exalted not only me or some special group; God has exalted everyone. It’s the people of Burkina Faso and Niger and Guyana and Haiti. It’s people who never learned to read and write or who live on fifty cents a day. All human beings have been made a little lower than the angels, and we have a responsibility to treat them accordingly.
I didn't expect to recover from my second operation but since I did, I consider that I'm living on borrowed time. Every day that dawns is a gift to me and I take it in that way. I accept it gratefully without looking beyond it. I completely forget my physical suffering and all the unpleasantness of my present condition and I think only of the joy of seeing the sun rise once more and of being able to work a little bit, even under difficult conditions.
I really like you, Midori. A lot.”
“How much is a lot?”
“Like a spring bear,” I said.
“A spring bear?” Midori looked up again. “What’s that all about? A spring bear.”
“You’re walking through a field all by yourself one day in spring, and this sweet little bear cub with velvet fur and shiny little eyes comes walking along. And he says to you, “Hi, there, little lady. Want to tumble with me?’ So you and the bear cub spend the whole day in each other’s arms, tumbling down this clover-covered hill. Nice, huh?”
“Yeah. Really nice.”
“That’s how much I like you.
All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children.... I was trying my damnedest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can't build little white picket fences to keep the nightmares out.
At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.
If it were not for the depressing heat and the urgency of the work, one could sit down and laugh to tears at the absurdity of the thing, and under the circumstances it is a little wearing. But our motto is the old west coast proverb,; in other words, don't flurry; patience gains the day.
Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?