Sunday, April 22, 2012


"We might say in passing that, on this earth where nothing is perfect, being blind and being loved is one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness.  To constantly have at your side a woman, an unmarried woman, a sister, a wonderful person who is there because you need her and because she cannot do without you, to know that you are indispensable to the one you need, to be endlessly able to measure her affection by the amount of presence she grants you and to say to yourself, "since she devotes all her time to me, that means I have her whole heart"; to see her thoughts, if not her face, to weigh one being's faithfulness when the rest of the world has been eclipsed, to detect the rustling of her dress as though it were the sound of wings, to hear her coming and going, going out, coming back, talking, singing, and to know you are the center of every step she takes, of every word, of every song, to manifest your own gravitational pull every minute of the day, to feel yourself all the more powerful for your infirmity, to become in darkness, and through darkness, the star around which this angel revolves-- few forms of bliss come anywhere near it!  The ultimate happiness in life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself--better still, loved in spite of oneself. And this conviction is what the blind have.  In distress, to be waited on is to be hugged and kissed.  Is there anything the blind man is deprived of?  No.  Having love means not losing the light.  And what love!  Love entirely pure.  Blindness does not exist where there is certainty.  The soul gropes for another soul -- and finds it.  And this soul found and tried and tested is a woman.  A hand supports you, it is hers; lips brush your forehead, hers; you hear breathing right next to you, it is her breathing.  To have all of her, from her devotion to her sympathy, never to be abandoned, to have that sweet frailty that succors you, to lean on such an unshakable reed, to touch Providence with your own hands and hold it in your arms.  God made palpable--what rapture! The heart, that dark celestial flower, bursts into mysterious bloom.  You would not trade such shade for all the light in the world.  The angel of the house is there, is always there; if she goes away, it is only to return; she fades like a dream only to reappear like reality.  You sense her approaching, and there she is.  Your cup runs over with serenity, gaiety, ecstasy; you are a beacon of light in the night.  And the countless little shows of thoughtfulness!  Little things that are enormous in the void.  The most heavenly tones of the female voice are employed to soothe you and make up to you for the vanished universe.  You are stroked with soul.  You may see nothing, but you feel adored.  It is a paradise of darkness."
-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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