“The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that things are not mended again.”
“But there is only one thing that has power completely, and this is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power.”
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that's the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”
“I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find that we are turned to hating.”
“ — This world is full of trouble, umfundisi.
— Who knows it better?
— Yet you believe?
Kumalo looked at him under the light of the lamp. I believe, he said, but I have learned that it is a secret. Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. There is my wife, and you, my friend, and these people who welcomed me, and the child who is so eager to be with us here in Ndotsheni – so in my suffering I can believe.
— I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.
Kumalo looked at his friend with joy. You are a preacher, he said.”
“Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. ”
“I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.”
“The truth is, our civilization is not Christian; it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possessions.”
“The Judge does not make the law. It is people that make the law. Therefore if a law is unjust, and if the Judge judges according to the law, that is justice, even if it is not just.”
“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey,a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arrival.
When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house. But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house.”
“There is not much talking now. A silence falls upon them all. This is no time to talk of hedges and fields, or the beauties of any country. Sadness and fear and hate, how they well up in the heart and mind, whenever one opens pages of these messengers of doom. Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. The sun pours down on the earth, on the lovely land that man cannot enjoy. He knows only the fear of his heart.”
“We do not know, we do not know. We shall live from day to day, and put more locks on the doors, and get a fine fierce dog when the fine fierce bitch next door has pups, and hold on to our handbags more tenaciously; and the beauty of the trees by night, and the raptures of lovers under the stars, these things we shall forego. We shall forego the coming home drunken through the midnight streets, and the evening walk over the star-lit veld. We shall be careful, and knock this off our lives, and knock that off our lives, and hedge ourselves about with safety and precaution. And our lives will shrink, but they shall be the lives of superior beings; and we shall live with fear, but at least it will not be a fear of the unknown. And the conscience shall be thrust down; the light of life shall not be extinguished, but be put under a bushel, to be preserved for a generation that will live by it again, in some day not yet come; and how it will come, and when it will come, we shall not think about at all.”
“For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing.”
“Happy the eyes that can close”
“because life slips away, and because I need for the rest of my journey a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie.”
“Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who indeed knows why there can be comfort in a world of desolation? Now God be thanked that there is a beloved one who can lift up the heart in suffering, that one can play with a child in the face of such misery. Now God be thanked that the name of a hill is such music, that the name of a river can heal. Aye, even the name of a river that runs no more.
Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who knows for what we live, and struggle and die? Who knows what keeps us living and struggling, while all things break about us? Who knows why the warm flesh of a child is such comfort, when one's own child is lost and cannot be recovered? Wise men write many books, in words too hard to understand. But this, the purpose of our lives, the end of all our struggle, is beyond all human wisdom.”
“For who can stop the heart from breaking?”
“It is not permissible for us to go on destroying the family life when we know that we are destroying it.”
“And were your back as broad as heaven, and your purse full of gold, and did your compassion reach from here to hell itself, there is nothing you can do.”
“I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good for their country, come together to work for it.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.”
“For mines are for men, not for money. And money is not something to go mad about, and throw your hat into the air for. Money is for food and clothes and comfort, and a visit to the pictures. Money is to make happy the lives of children. Money is for security, and for dreams, and for hopes, and for purposes. Money is for buying the fruits of the earth, of the land where you were born.”
“But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”
“It was not his habit to dwell on what might have been but what could never be.”
“What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another? What broke when he could bring himself to thrust down the knife into the warm flesh, to bring down the axe on the living head, to cleave down between the seeing eyes, to shoot the gun that would drive death into the beating heart?”
“There are voices crying what must be done, a hundred, a thousand voices. But what do they help if one seeks for counsel, for one cries this, and one cries that, and another cries something that is neither this nor that.”
“In the meantime the strike is over, with a remarkably low loss of life. All is quiet, they report, all is quiet.
In the deserted harbour there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except for fools.”
“There is a man sleeping in the grass. And over him is gathering the greatest storm of all his days. Such lightening and thunder will come there has never been seen before, bringing death and destruction. People hurry home past him, to places safe from danger. And whether they do not see him there in the grass, or whether they fear to halt even a moment, but they do not wake him, they let him be.”
“In the deserted harbour there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest, there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except for fools”
“We do not work for men. We work for the land and the people. We do not even work for money.”
“Indeed, mother, you are always our helper."
"For what else are we born?”
“chore. You didn’t like me doing”
“Democracies are not lucky. They do not attract civic-minded leaders by chance. Rather, they attract survival-oriented leaders who understand that, given their dependence on many essentials, they can only come to and stay in power if they figure out the right basket of public goods to provide.”
“Even if we’d never met, even if you never existed, I would still love you beyond all reason for the rest of my life.”
“He was an unpleasant youth, snub-nosed and spotty. Still, he could balance himself with one hand on an inverted ginger-ale bottle while revolving a barrel on the soles of his feet. There is good in all of us.”
“A most deplorable sight," she said, folding her arms across her chest. "Someone who has lost everything. You know, minstrel, it is interesting. Once, I thought it was impossible to lose everything, that something always remains. Always. Even in times of contempt, when naivety is capable of backfiring in the cruellest way, one cannot lose everything. But he... he lost several pints of blood, the ability to walk properly, partial use of his left hand, his witcher's sword, the woman he loves, the daughter he had gained by a miracle, his faith... Well, I thought, he must have been left with something. But I was wrong. He has nothing now. Not even a razor."
Dandelion remained silent. The dryad did not move.
"I asked if you had a hand in this," she began a moment later. "But I think there was no need. It's obvious you had a hand in it. It's obvious you are his friend. And if someone has friends, and he loses everything in spite of that, it's obvious the friends are to blame. For what they did, or for what they didn't do.”
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