More From Bobin
p. 25 Beauty is in the radical instability—a loss of balance and of voice—that the passing touch of a white wing provokes in us. Beauty is the sum of those things that pass through us, unaware of us, and suddenly intensifying the lightness of being…
p. 44 The first knowledge we acquire of god is bitter and sweet, gulped in with the earliest nutriments of childhood. A child licks god, drinks him, hits him, smiles at him, shouts at him and ends up sleeping in his arms, replete in the nook of the dark. This knowledge is immediate, offered to the new-born, denied to the clerical establishment, denied to those whose god is thin—a knowing cut off from its known.
p. 47 The people believe this [Jonah’s] news, they think it’ all up with us, god won’t revoke his decision, this time it’s the end, and with that they shut down their computer, leave their offices and go into the street to take their place in the day with no tomorrow, that is to say the grace of living, which is to say god.
p. 53 If we consider our life in relation to the world, we need to resist what others would make of us, refuse whatever presents itself—roles, identities, functions—and defend above all else our silence and our solitude. If we consider our life in its relation to eternity, we need to relax our grip and accept what comes, holding on to nothing. Rejecting all on the one hand, accepting all on the other: this double movement can take place only within the love in which the world retreats while the eternal draws closer, solitary and silent.
…From the perspective of the spirit, there is no distinction between excess and dearth: the more one frequents solitude, the more one needs it. The more we are plunged in love, the more we feel its lack. We shall never have enough solitude and the same is true of love, that sheer slope of solitude.
p. 54 Love is detachment, forgetfulness of self. We cannot arrive at it unaided, for our whole strength is ceaselessly employed in heaping the world on the surface of our ego. What we take at times for detachment is merely indifference or resignation—just two more metamorphoses of the ego, buttressed in the case of indifference, darkened in resignation.
p. 59 To write is to give extreme care to what we are doing—something impossible in life where we focus on the essential while neglecting the rest, forgetting that the essential is nothing else than what we forget.
p. 60 A lofty self-awareness goes hand in hand with an inwardly depressive state—as an empire that has lost its self-belief fortifies its frontiers and takes a pride in its tombs.
Irony is a symptom of avarice, a contraction of the intelligence, which clenches its teeth sooner than let slip a single word of praise. Humour, inversely, is a sign of generosity: smiling at what one loves is to love it twice as much.
p. 62 Holiness is so far from perfection as to be its polar opposite. Perfection is the spoilt little sister of death. Holiness is a potent taste for life as it goes—a childlike capacity to rejoice in what is, without asking for anything else.
The living are few and the dead abound in this life—the dead being those who never let go and can’t walk away from themselves into love or laughter.
Prayer is our one link with the real—if by ‘prayer’ we mean simply an attention both extreme and careless of any result, an attention so pure that the one who practises it is not even aware of doing so.
p. 67 There is a lot of suffering in the world, and, in equal quantity, a lot of childhood. These two things are one and the same. For the world, the spirit of childhood is unbearable. It has to abandon childhood in order to carry on being world. What we abandon doesn’t die, but wanders abroad and finds no rest. Grief keeps it  company.
Sentiment [as opposed to love] is close to melancholy and sooner or later will slide into it. Sentiment and melancholy spring from a preference of self for self, a complaisance—heightened or hopeless—of me for me…Melancholy is the dark face of the sentimental. Sentiment, like melancholy, clings, fetters, fuses. Love cuts, detaches, flies. Sentiment, like birdlime, glue my self within me. By love I am detached from it, torn free…
p. 73 I should like to know how to pray, I should like to know how to cry for help, how to thank, how to wait, how to love, how to weep, I should like to know what can’t be learnt, but I know none of it, all I know is how to sit and let God in to do the work for me, God or more often, for one mustn’t be demanding, one of his go-betweens, rain, snow, the laughter of children, Mozart.
The most luminous moments in my life are those where I am content to watch the world appearing. These moments are made up of solitude and silence…I have left yesterday behind and tomorrow doesn’t exist…What I am describing is a modest experience  anyone may have — for example, in those moments, when, without a thought in one’s head, forgetful even of one’s own existence, one presses a cheek against a cold window-pane to watch the rain falling.
p. 75 Between earth and sky, a ladder. At the top of this ladder, silence…Silence alone is never sly. Silence is first and last. Silence is love—and when it is not, it is more wretched than noise.
…There are two things as needful to us as are water and light to trees: solitude and interaction. In hell both are absent.
p. 114 I found myself once in a relationship where every word let fall by one of us was caught without fail by the other. The same was true of every silence. It was not the fusion experienced by lovers in their first fervour—an unreal and destructive state. In the spaciousness of this connection there was a kind of music, and we were at once together and apart, like the gossamer wings of a dragonfly. Having experienced this plenitude, I know that love has nothing to do with the sentimentality that lingers in songs, nor does it come with sex, which the world has taken for its top promotion—the one that helps it sell all the rest. Love is the miracle that lets our very silences be heard,  and us fine-tune our listening to the same degree: life n its essence, pure as the air that bears up the dragonflies’ wings and rejoices in their dance.