I love this image:
“Lyra looked around for her death, and sure enough, there he was, walking politely a little way ahead; but he didn’t want to come closer, though he kept looking back to see if they were following.”
Lyra and Will have reached the land of the dead, and The Amber Spyglass keeps getting better and better.
A little later on, Lyra and the ghosts discuss being released from the nothingness of the underworld into the unknown of true death, and one of them says:
“Even if it means oblivion, friends, I’ll welcome it, because it won’t be nothing. We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we’ll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.”
Wow. Fell asleep with that image in my head, and had strange and wonderful dreams all night long…about being alive forever in blades of grass, in raindrops. I guess there could be one of Shakespeare’s atoms in the tree outside my window. Or an atom from a dinosaur in the pot of coffee I brewed at work this morning. I love thinking about that.
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On the other hand, had a scary experience tonight on my way to teach violin lessons–saw a car pulled over, and didn’t notice until I had nearly passed by that it was smashed head-on into a tree…then saw the hysterical woman in the front seat trying to wave me down. She was about 65, totally disoriented, had no idea how long she’d been there and no memory of plowing her shiny new Mercedes into a tree, and thought she had a concussion. I called 911 and stayed with her till help came. It looked like she had blacked out and driven into the ditch and straight into the tree. There were car pieces everywhere. Luckily she had been driving slowly. The whole rest of the night, I haven’t been able to shake the thought that, had she been going any faster, I could’ve found a dead body instead…and this is the second time in the past month that I’ve been the first at the scene of an accident, and the only one calm enough to call 911. (The other was a two-car collision in my own neighborhood that resulted in a flipped-over SUV. Horrifying sight.)
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My apologies; this seems to have gone from a post about books and beautiful quotes, to a PSA about safe driving. But in all seriousness, people, I want to remind you (and myself): Slow down. Put the phone down. Turn the music down. Cars are useful, but they are also two-ton metallic monsters. That run on dead dinosaurs.