Monday, December 1, 2008

A Perfect Paragraph

If I could write only one thing this beautiful in my entire life, I could die a happy woman:

One Kashmiri morning in the early spring of 1915, my grandfather Aadam Aziz hit his nose against a frost-hardened tussock of earth while attempting to pray. Three drops of blood plopped out of his left nostril, hardened instantly in the brittle air and lay before his eyes on the prayer-mat, transformed into rubies. Lurching back until he knelt with his head once more upright, he found that the tears which had sprung into his eyes had solidified, too; and at that moment, as he brushed diamonds contemptuously from his lashes, he resolved never again to kiss the earth for any god or man. This decision, however, made a hole in him, a vacancy in a vital inner chamber, leaving him vulnerable to women and history. Unaware of this at first, despite his recently completed medical training, he stood up, rolled the prayer-mat into a thick cheroot, and holding it under his right arm surveyed the valley through clear, diamond-free eyes.

--Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

5 comments:

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

Wow.

You read something like and think why even bother to try. Structurally it's like a perfect glass sphere. But like a magician's crystal ball you see in it a whole life in that small compact place.

But do do try, because you can't not.

Eva said...

Why does what you say Bev make me think of 1984?

I need a clear mind to be able to wrap myself properly around this paragraph, Ana but it sounds beautiful.

Ana said...

Good day, ladies! Feels like forever!

Ana said...

Eva? bloglos?

Ana said...

Eva -- Sorry. I was trying out some wordplay in German. That should read, "Was ist blogLos mit dir?"

Is it too early to be using "Du"? I hope not!