I just finished this novel by Colm Toibin. It is about three generations of strong independent women, sorting through the love and resentments that bind them. As Helen helps her mother and grandmother care for her dying brother in a remote crumbling house by the sea in Ireland after a bad sleepless night she stands at the edge of the cliff and I wanted to share the following paragraph which struck me so deeply:
"Imaginings, and resonances and pain and small longings and prejudices. They meant nothing against the resolute hardness of the sea. They meant less than the marl and the mud and the dry clay of the cliff that were eaten away by the weather, washed away by the sea. It was not just that they would fade: they hardly existed, they did not matter, they would have no impact on this cold dawn, this deserted remote seascape where the water shone in the early light and shocked her with its sullen beauty. It might have been better she felt, if there had never been people, if this turning of the world, and the glistening sea and the morning breeze happened without witnesses, without anyone feeling, or remembering, or dying, or trying to love. She stood at the edge of the cliff until the sun came out from behind the black rainclouds."