All The Light We Cannot See

Light Shining Through Trees

Have you ever woken and found that the tide has come in?

During the night, an invisible sea swept silently under your doors and through cracks in the windows. The water traces chill fingers over your calves and abdomen. As it swoops higher, a sense of infinite coldness creates vacant spaces around your heart.

What is the sea made of? It is an endless ocean, unquantifiable. I am waterlogged with salt. I sleep too much. My eyes feel scratchy. A great-tailed grackle veers through the yard and knocks a sparrow from the air. The sparrow’s body thumps into the elephant ear on the wall and drops another four feet to the ground. It flutters weakly, and I approach, wishing to cup its fragility. But it beats its wings and hydroplanes beneath the Cuban oregano.

Earbuds on, I lie on the slate sidewalk warmed by a sun 93 million miles away. Words bloom in my inner ear and craft for me a boat made of sunrises.

“His voice is low and soft, a piece of silk you might keep in a drawer and pull out only on rare occasions, just to feel it between your fingers.”

“Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air.”

“The sky drops silver threads of sleet.”

I am alone, and not alone. A warbler skitter-hops along an avocado branch. I pluck a fig from a tree, its sides deforming under the pressure of my fingers. Sweetness from one hundred inverted flowers bursts in my mouth. Beneath the succulent leaves of Cuban oregano, I find only earth.

The quotes in this post are from “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015. And yes, it’s 100% worth reading.

Similar Posts