You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say Here at last is the thing I was made for. We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
C.S. Lewis
The Story of the Woman with Three BrothersA woman once had three brothers. They all had wives, but she was not married. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not offer a dowry. How unhappy she was! What could she do?She's so miserable, she goes to the garden and hangs herself from a tree.The eldest brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see her. The second brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see that she's dead. The third brother sees her, bursts into tears and takes her body inside.A woman once had three brothers. When she died, no one wanted to care for her body. Though she had been virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not serve her. How cruel this was! What would happen?She is ignored in death as in life, until her body begins to stink.The eldest brother gives one piece of cloth to cover her body. The second brother gives two pieces of cloth. The third brother wraps her in as many clothes as possible so she'll be warm in the afterworld.A woman once had three brothers. Now dressed for her future as a spirit, her brothers won't spend any money on a coffin. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers are stingy. How unfair this was! Would she ever find rest?All alone, all alone, she plans her haunting days.The eldest brother says, We don't need to bury her in a box. She is fine the way she is. The second brother says, We could use that old box in the shed. The third brother says, This is all the money I have. I will go and buy her a coffin.A woman once had three brothers. They have come so far, but what will happen to Sister now? Elder brother- mean in spirit; Second brother- cold in heart; but in Third brother love may come through.Elder brother says, Let's bury her here by the water buffalo road. (meaning she would be trampled for all eternity) Second brother says, Let's bury her here under the bridge. (meaning she would wash away) But third brother - good in heart, filial in all ways - says, We will bury her behind the house so everyone will remember her.
Lisa See