The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd–The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
∆ Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet (Pantheon, 1991, originally published in 1982)
On my windowsill when I got home, there was a tumbler with pink jelly in it, and embedded in the jelly, sliced strawberries and bananas… [my neighbour] cooks at odd hours. She must have made the strawberry jelly this morning. When I buy baklava, which is not often because I eat too many, I leave a few for her on her windowsill, with a headscarf over them so the wasps don’t come. For these little gifts we don’t thank each other with words. They are commas of care.
∆ "commas of care", John Berger, From A to X: A Story in Letters