Osman and Prideep had been in my employment for some weeks. Every Friday I would take the to lunch. It was the high point of their calender. During the meal I would harangue them as a reminder of what they had been hired for: but my orations never seemed to increase their output. I realised later that, in the East, a commitment to produce does not automatically accompany employment.
Man is a fraction of the animal world. Our history is an afterthought, no more, tacked to an infinite calender. We are not so unique as we should like to believe. And if man in a time of need seeks deeper knowledge concerning himself, then he must explore those animal horizons from which we have made our quick little march.
Oh," he said, knocking a red ball into a hole. "It's you." "You were expecting someone else?" I asked. "Am I interrupting your social calender?" I made a big show of glancing around the empty room. "I don't want to keep you from the mob of fans beating down your door." "Hey, a guy can hope. I mean, it's not impossible that a car full of scantily clad sorority girls might break down outside and need my help.
When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
Jonathan Safran Foer
So always avoid banality. That is, avoid illustrating the author's words and remarks. If you want to create a true masterpiece you must always avoid beautiful lies: the truths on the calender under each date you find a proverb or saying such as: "He who is good to others will be happy." But this is not true. It is a lie. The spectator, perhaps, is content. The spectator likes easy truths. But we are not there to please or pander to the spectator. We are here to tell the truth.
I got tired, I told him. Not worn out, but worn through. Like one of those wives who wakes up one morning and says I can't bake any more bread. You never bake bread, he wrote, and we were still joking. Then it's like I woke up and baked bread, I said, and we were joking even then. I wondered will there come a time when we won't be joking? And what would it look like? And how would that feel? When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
Jonathan Safran Foer