Flowers that are offered for the dead, do not know the difference of where their beauty will be placed, they do not say, "This is not a palace" or "This is not a garden"; they just are. They are just beautiful, without giving regards to whether they are placed on a grave or in a castle. Flowers are just beautiful, whether they grow by the wayside or in a manicured garden. If we were all like flowers, then we would all be beautiful, with no regards to why or how. We just are. We are just beautiful.
The clock’s pendulum catches the firelight, and in the rattle-breathed final moments of Jacob de Zoet, amber shadows in the far corner coagulate into a woman’s form.
She slips between the bigger, taller onlookers unnoticed …
… and adjusts her headscarf, the better to hide her burn.
She places her cool palms on Jacob’s fever-glazed face.
Jacob sees himself, when he was young, in her narrow eyes.
Her lips touch the place between his eyebrows.
A well-waxed paper door slides open.
Not only does my world revolve around her, but she is my world. She's not just my reason for breathing, she's air itself. She's the meaning behind every one of my thoughts, every thrum of my pulse, every whisper of my conscience. She's my entire everything. It's as simple and as complex as that.
He's my father!" she bellowed, pointing to Trevanion.
"Vestie!" Beatriss said firmly, stopping to stare up at her. "I'll snip at the tongue if I ever see it in such a way again! Trevanion, speak to her."
Vestie hung her head, shamefaced.
"Vestie," he said, his voice still gentle.
"Shout it out louder, my love. Shout it out louder.
I go out on the porch and gaze up at the stars twinkling above, the random scattering of millions of stars. Even in a planetarium you wouldn't find as many. Some of them really look big and distinct, like if you reached your hand out intently you could touch them. The whole thing is breathtaking. Not just beautiful though--the stars like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me. What I've done up till now, what I'm going to do--they know it all. Nothing gets past their watchful eyes. As I sit there under the shining night sky, again a violent fear takes hold of me. My heart's pounding a mile a minute, and I can barely breathe. All these millions of stars looking down on me, and I've never given them more than a passing thought before. Bot just stars--how many other things haven't I noticed in the world, things I know nothing about? I suddenly feel helpless, completely powerless. And I know I'll never outrun that awful feeling. (135)