In a world full of war, famine, oppression, deceit, monotony, what—apart from the eternal innocence of animals—offers an image of hope? A mother with a newborn child in her arms? The child may end up as a murderer or a murder victim, so that the hopeful image is a prefiguration of a pietà: a mother with her newly dead child on her lap.
From time to time I try to imagine this world of which he spoke--a culture in whose mythology words might be that precious, in which words were conceived as vessels for communications from the heart; a society in which words are holy, and the challenge of life is based upon the quest for gentle words, holy words, gentle truths, holy truths.
I try to imagine for myself a world in which the words one gives one's children are the shell into which they shall grow, so one chooses one's children are the shell into which they shall grow, so one chooses one's words carefully, like precious gifts, like magnificent gifts, like magnificent inheritances, for they convey an excess of what we have imagined, they bear gifts beyond imagination, they reveal and revisit the wealth of history.
How carefully, how slowly, and how lovingly we might step into our expectations of each other in such a world.