I have discovered Douglas Coupland’s novels in the last few years. Life after God is both like and unlike his novels. Here are five bits from it that really spoke to me.
“Sometimes I think the people to feel the saddest for are people who are unable to connect with the profound... And then sometimes I think the people to feel saddest for are people who once knew what profoundness was, but who lost or became numb to the sensation of wonder – people who closed the doors that lead us into the secret world – or who had the doors closed for them by time and neglect and decisions made in times of weakness.”
“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it’s already happened.”
“...humans are the only animal to feel the pain of sorrow that has been stretched out through linear time ...our curse as humans is that we are trapped in time – our curse is that we are forced to interpret life as a sequence of events – a story – and when we can’t figure out what our particular story is we feel lost somehow. “Dogs only have a present tense in their lives,” ... Humans have to endure everything in life in agonizingly endless clock time – every single second of it. Not only this, but we have to remember having endured our entire lives as well.”
“I think that death is not just dying. I think death is a loss that can never be found again, words that can never be taken back, damage that can never be made whole. It is a denial of any possible future giving of love.”
“...we are living creatures – we have religious impulses – we must – and yet into what cracks do these impulses flow in a world without religion?”
(I’ve typed these up without permission. I would recommend you buy and read the book and all Douglas Coupland’s other books.)