Many people have come and left, and it has been always good because they emptied some space for better people. It is a strange experience, that those who have left me have always left places for a better quality of people.
People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.
“Let’s say something happens, right, and from a certain slant maybe it’s tragic, even a little bit shocking. And then time passes, and you go to the funny slant, and now that very same thing can no longer do you any harm.”
She had a way with words, but not with people. Poetry in her veins but not on her tongue. She was cursed with a heart that loved too strongly and a mind incapable of letting go. And just like every other storm, she’d forgotten what it feels like to be touched by the sun.
…it is the house of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty; be welcome. […] This is the home of no man, except him who needs an asylum.
Les Miserables | Victor Hugo, translated by Charles Wilbour
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.
Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing