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Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. To such an extent indeed that one day, finding myself at the deathbed of a woman who had been and still was very dear to me, I caught myself in the act of focusing on her temples and automatically analyzing the succession of appropriately graded colors which death was imposing on her motionless face.
Paneloux is a man of learning, a scholar. He hasn't come in contact with death; that's why he can speak with such assurance of the truth-with a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. He'd try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its goodness.
On his deathbed, when asked if he had left anything undone:I didn't shoot Henry Clay, and I didn't hang John C. Calhoun.
"Take my own father! You know what he said in his last moments? On his deathbed, he defied me to name a man who had enjoyed a better life. In spite of the dreadful pain, his face radiated happiness," said Mother, nodding her head comfortably. "Happiness drives out pain, as fire burns out fire."
Anyway, you can't leave her like that. You can't do that to the woman. She doesn't deserve it; nobody does. You don't belong to her and she doesn't belong to you, but you're both part of each other; if she got up and left now and walked away and you never saw each other again for the rest of your lives, and you lived an ordinary waking life for another fifty years, even so on your deathbed you would still know she was part of you.
Our life is composed of events and states of mind. How ewe appraise our life from our deathbed will be predicated not only on what came to us in life but how we lived with it. It will not be simply illness or health, riches or poverty, good luck or bad, which ultimately define whether we believe we have had a good life or not, but the quality of our relationship to these situations: the attitudes of our states of mind.
I would like to find a completely new kind of form, or a new kind of free verse, but I don't think I'm finding it at the moment. I suppose one would always like to start all over again and do something that nobody ever did. I suppose I will be thinking on my deathbed, Why don't I start all over again, and...