Lightly Child, Lightly.

Later I went inside, out of the nostalgic sad autumnal smell of leaf smoke, and talked a few minutes to the girl propped in bed with her hair in pigtails. Despite the nausea, her eyes were extraordinarily bright. I thought she looked at me with the soft intensity, the tenderness, that I had seen in the eyes of too many people dying of cancer-the look that says how lovely are the shapes and colors of life and how dear the faces of friends, how desirable it all is, how soon to be lost.

― Wallace Stegner, All the Little Live Things (Penguin Books, December 1, 1991, first published 1967)


Notes:

  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Photo: Anne Jones with burning leaves

Comments

  1. Stegner never disappoints.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ohhh… that looks like an interesting read…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow
    Who is the little girl to the narrator here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Read the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will. But who is she to him?

        Like

        • Younger neighbor, who has become like the daughter he never had.

          Like

        • Yes, think of it, I might say. And think of how random and indiscriminate it is, think how helplessly we must submit, think how impossible it is to control or direct it. Think how often beauty and delicacy and grace are choked out by weeds. Think how endless and dubious is the progress from weed to flower. Even alive, she never convinced me with her advocacy of biological perfectionism. She never persuaded me to ignore, or to look upon as merely hard pleasures, the evil that I felt in every blight and smut and pest in my garden-that I felt, for that matter, squatting like a toad on my own heart. Think of the force of life, yes, but think of the component of darkness in it. One of the things that’s in whale’s milk is the promise of pain and death. And so? Admitting what is so obvious, what then? Would I wipe Marian Catlin out of my unperfected consciousness if I could? Would I forgo the pleasure of her company to escape the bleakness of her loss? Would I go back to my own formula, which was twilight sleep, to evade the pain she brought with her? Not for a moment. And so even in the gnashing of my teeth I acknowledge my conversion. It turns out to be for me as I once told her it would be for her daughter. I shall be richer all my life for this sorrow.

          ― Wallace Stegner, All the Little Live Things (Penguin Books, December 1, 1991, first published 1967

          Liked by 1 person

      • So she’s Marian?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I clicked on your photos at the side. You are getting a lovely collection of photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. heartbreaking

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Tender …. ” … the tenderness, that I had seen in the eyes of too many people dying of cancer-the look that says how lovely are the shapes and colors of life and how dear the faces of friends, how desirable it all is, how soon to be lost.
    ― Wallace Stegner, All the Little Live Things (Penguin Books, December 1, 1991, first published 1967).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Truly heart breaking, esp. after having lost 2 dear friends far from old age within 24h of each other 10 days ago and yesterday another one who was long-suffering.
    Beautifully written

    Like

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