Nothing is a masterpiece - a real masterpiece - till it's about two hundred years old. A picture is like a tree or a church, you've got to let it grow into a masterpiece. Same with a poem or a new religion. They begin as a lot of funny words. Nobody knows whether they're all nonsense or a gift from heaven. And the only people who think anything of 'em are a lot of cranks or crackpots, or poor devils who don't know enough to know anything. Look at Christianity. Just a lot of floating seeds to start with, all sorts of seeds. It was a long time before one of them grew into a tree big enough to kill the rest and keep the rain off. And it's only when the tree has been cut into planks and built into a house and the house has got pretty old and about fifty generations of ordinary lumpheads who don't know a work of art from a public convenience, have been knocking nails in the kitchen beams to hang hams on and screwing hooks in the walls for whips and guns and photographs and calendars and measuring the children on the window frames and chopping out a new cupboard under the stairs to keep the cheese and murdering their wives in the back room and burying them under the cellar flags, that it begins even to feel like a religion. And when the whole place is full of dry rot and ghosts and old bones and the shelves are breaking down with old wormy books that no one could read if they tried and the attic floors are bulging through the servants' ceilings with old trunks and top-boots and gasoliers and dressmaker's dummies and ball frocks and dolls-houses and pony saddles and blunderbusses and parrot cages and uniforms and love letters and jugs without handles and bridal pots decorated with forget-me-nots and a piece out at the bottom, that it grows into a real old faith, a masterpiece which people can really get something out of, each for himself. And then, of course, everybody keeps on saying that it ought to be pulled down at once, because it's an insanitary nuisance.'s Mouth
Joyce Cary
All I know was that Dirva stayed with Liro in the days immediately after and that it was Liro who slowly coaxed him back from the jaws of grief. Dirva had Liro, he had no one else and it was then that I began to understand that the things we need from others make their own kind of sense, have their own logic, create their own legitimacy regardless of what we've been taught. If he hadn't had Liro, I am not sure Dirva would have been able to patch himself back together.I am grateful for this, but in the years since, I cannot help but wonder at the sacrifice it required of Liro. It is not easy to hold someone through their grief. It is hard to see someone you love in pain, in irreparable pain. It takes an extraordinary type of kindness, a rare patience, to let the loss run its course. We always want to help, but there are times when there is no help and the pressure to take help only makes things harder on the ones trapped in mourning. I don't know what transpired between them. I don't. But I do know that Dirva left him without explanation, reappeared without warning and that there was nothing for Liro to do but offer himself up. I never knew Liro well, but he seemed to me a very bright man. Like anyone who scraped a childhood by on the street and survived to adulthood, he had a watchfulness about him and an uncannily honed feel for other people. Liro knew the moment Dirva set foot in the City what he would need and what he would take and Liro let him take it anyway.
B.R. Sanders