All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Some excerpts that move me…

Who knew love could kill you?

For Werner, doubts turn up regularly.  Racial purity, political purity — Bastian speaks to a horror of any sort of corruption, and yer, Werner wonders in the dead of night, isn’t life a kind of corruption?  A child is born, and the world sets in upon it.  Taking things from it, stuffing things into it.  Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye — the body can never be pure.

So really , children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.

So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?

We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust.  Much smaller.  Divide. Multiply.  Add ans subtract.  Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm.  The lungs the brain the heart.  Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl.  Then the world starts in on us.

It’s embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.

[In looking at the ocean]  Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties.  It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.

Is she happy?  For portions of every day, she is happy.

He made such a faint presence.  It was like being in the room with a feather.  But his soul glowed with some fundamental kindness, didn’t it?

Every hour she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out the the world. … We rise again in the grass.  In the flowers. In songs.



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