Marilynne Robinson: The Human Face

. . . now that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face. [My friend] Boughton and I have talked about that, too. It has something to do with incarnation. You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can’t help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it, but this is truest in the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any. Boughton agrees.

–Marilynne Robinson, from Gilead

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Marilynne Robinson: What Are All These Fragments For?

For why do our thoughts turn to some gesture of a hand, the fall of a sleeve, some corner of a room on a particular anonymous afternoon, even when we are asleep, even when we are so old that our thoughts have abandoned other business? What are all these fragments for, if not to be knit up finally?

–Marilynne Robinson, from Housekeeping