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September 11, 2005



"The thing is
to love life
to love it even when you have no stomach for it,
when everything you've held dear crumbles
like burnt paper in your hands and
your throat is filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you so heavily it's like heat,
tropical, moist thickening the air
so it's heavy like water
more fit for gills than lungs.
When grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief.
How long can a body withstand this? You think,
and yet you hold life like a face between your palms,
a plain face, with no charming smile or twinkle in her eye,and you say yes, I will take you
I will love you, again."

-Ellen Bass
Author, California

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