Years ago, when I was a board member at the Stowe Farmers’ Market, I stopped in at bookstore before a board meeting to buy a child’s small sticker book. Board meetings often ran three hours long; I had my four-year-old with me, and for a dollar or two, I was looking for an usual activity for her, something to sweeten some of that time.
While my daughter picked out her book, I browsed through the new fiction, and bought a book I’ve long since lost, passed along to other readers.
Why? The novel is one long melody, one continuous song of the beauty and harshness of human life.
What did my little girl choose? A birthday party sticker book, with cake and candles, balloons, wrapped presents on a table beneath an oak tree – also a song.
He says my daughter, and all the love he has is wrapped up in the tone of his voice when he says those two words, he says my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.
– Jon McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things