„Ar fi făcut orice pentru el. Sunt unele femei care ar face asta. Majoritatea poveştilor de dragoste sunt aşa, din câte văd. Inima începe să se simtă ca o barcă de salvare supraîncărcată. Laşi mândria la o parte pentru a o ţine pe linia de plutire, la fel şi respectul de sine, şi independenţa. După un timp, începi să arunci oameni peste bord – prietenii, toţi cei pe care îi cunoşti. Şi tot nu e de-ajuns. Barca se scufundă, iar tu ştii că te vei duce la fund odată cu ea.”

– din Shantaram, de Gregory David Roberts

 

„Legendele sanscrite străvechi vorbesc despre dragostea predestinată, legătura karmică dintre sufletele predestinate să se întâlnească, să se ciocnească şi să se înrobească unul pe altul. Legendele acelea spun că pe femeia iubită o recunoşti instantaneu pentru că-i iubeşti toate gesturile, toate cuvintele, toate mişcările, toate sunetele şi stările de spirit care-şi ridică ruga în acei ochi. Legendele spun că o recunoaştem după aripi – aripi pe care doar noi le putem vedea –, şi asta datorită faptului că dorinţa pentru ea ucide în noi orice alt impul erotic.

Tot acele legende avertizează că o asemenea dragoste predestinată poate fi, uneori, posedarea şi obsesia unui şi numai unuia dintre cele două suflete îngemănate de soartă. Dar înţelepciunea, într-o anumită privinţă, este opusul dragostei. Dragostea supravieţuieşte în noi tocmai din pricină că nu este înţeleaptă.”

– din Shantaram, de Gregory David Roberts

– Şi unde mergeţi voi?

– Ne ducem să stăm la un ashram, spuse prietenul lui. Este condus de cei din familia Rajneeshi, la Poona. Cel mai bun ashram din ţară.

Cele două perechi de ochi albaştri se holbară la mine cu dezaprobare vagă, aproape acuzatoare, specifică celor convinşi că au găsit calea spre adevăr.

– din Shantaram, de Gregory David Roberts

From Ian McEwan’s ‘Enduring Love’

‘I’m sitting at a small wooden table on a covered balcony that extends from the study out over the inner courtyard. The rain is falling on two flowering cherry trees. The branch of one grows through the railings so that I am close enough to see how the water forms into oval beads  tinged by the flower’s pale pink.’

‘I felt the empty, numbing neutrality that comes when one person in the room appears to monopolise all the available emotion. There was nothing for me to do for the moment but wait.’

‘I guessed her to be about fifty. The long straight hair was a last rope to the bollard of her youth. Failure had written in lines on Johnny’s face, but with Daisy it was all in the downward curve of her mouth. Lately I’ve noticed these mouths in some women of my age. A lifetime of putting out, as they saw it, and getting nothing back. The men were bastards, the social contract unjust and biology itself an affliction. The weight of all disappointment bent and locked these mouths into their downturn, a Cupid’s bow of loss. At a glance it looked like disapproval, but the mouths told a deeper tale of regret, though their owners never guessed what was being said about them.’

‘I experienced a sudden ache – part desolation, part panic – to observe the speed with which this mate, this familiar, was transforming herself into a separate person.’

‘I’ve never outgrown that feeling of mild peace, of acceptance, when children take your hand.’

It was an ideal spring day

‘Do you know, Watson,’ said he, ‘that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation, and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.’

‘Good Heavens!’ I cried. ‘ Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?’

‘They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful country-side.’

‘You horrify me!’

‘But the reason is very obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard’s blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser.’

The Copper Beeches // The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle