"What did other people do? I wondered. Losing spouses to divorce, to Alzheimer's, to death? How do they survive after such enormous losses? That sudden, abrupt amputation and then after that, everything off-kilter forever. How do you walk without that arm you're so used to? How do you keep your balance? The sharp pain that feels unending, without dimension, limitless, and then the ache and the ache and the ache that goes on and on; that comes in a wave and recedes and comes back and then comes back again. It was underneath everything—that sadness. Right under all the surface emotions: delight, detail, determination. There it was—the sadness—a big, spongy slab of it.
Why did I still think that happiness was something I could acquire—like a new dress? Why did I think happiness would just come to me if I behaved myself, worked hard, ate right, kept clean and got enough exercise? Happiness comes when you least expect it, not on order."
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
A slab of sadness
Wanted to share this excerpt from an as-yet-to-be-released novel I'm reading called Black Olives by Martha Tod Dudman, coming in February 2008 from Simon & Schuster.