Marginalia, no.253

Every spirit passing through the world fingers the tangible and mars the mutable, and finally comes to look and not to buy.

~ Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

I consider the room and wonder if this is how things end: the stack of books, the board games on the rug, the ukulele just there, the tea in my cup that will evaporate but leave a still detectable residue. So many of the objects we handle will outlast us. There’s always some unsuspected Vesuvius ready to end our fussing about. Is it strange to feel affection for the plants that will stretch themselves here and the creatures that will sniff and scratch long after the roof has collapsed and the soil and rain move in? Is it our own transience that makes us see things as transient? Immortal beings, with infinite perspective, may see only a single, immutable substance. If so, then pity the angels.

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