Here’s what I mean by the miracle of language. When you’re falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader’s heart and a writer’s, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death … And here’s the magic. You’re different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book.
The dead are gone and so their power over the living is only temporary. You lose sleep, you lose appetite, but eventually you fall asleep and eventually you eat – you may hate yourself for it, but the body’s demands are incontrovertible. He had always felt guilt about that, that he went on living… p 115
To consider water on any scale was to confront a boundless repetition of small events. There were the tiny wonders: rain drops, snow crystals, grains of frost aligned on a blade of grass; and there were the wonders so immense it seemed impossible to get his mind around them: global wind, oceanic currents, storms that broke like waves over whole mountain ranges. p 46