The Finest School

“I was graduated from the finest school, which is that of the love between a parent and a child. Though the world is constructed to serve glory, success, and strength, one loves one’s parents and one’s children despite their failings and weaknesses—sometimes even more on account of them. In this school you learn the measure not of power, but of love; not of victory, but of grace, not of triumph, but of forgiveness. You learn as well, and sometimes, as I did, you learn early, that love can overcome death, and that what is required of you in this is memory and devotion. Memory and devotion. To keep your love alive you must be willing to be obstinate, and irrational, and true, to fashion your entire life as a construct, a metaphor, a fiction, a device for the exercise of faith. Without this, you will live like a beast with nothing but an aching heart. With it, your heart, though broken, will be full, and you will stay in the fight until the very last.”

– From Memoir from Antproof Case by Mark Helprin

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