A Quote by Mary Doria Russell on tragedy, belief, and comedy

“I think,” the Father General said, “that I could be of more help to you if I knew whether you see all this as comedy or tragedy.”

            Emilio did not answer right away.  So much, he was thinking, for keeping silent about what can’t be changed.  So much for Latino pride.  He felt sometimes like the seedhead of a dandelion, flying apart, blown to pieces in a puff of air.  The humiliation was almost beyond bearing.  He thought, and hoped sometimes, that it would kill him, that his heart would actually stop.  Maybe this is part of the joke, he thought bleakly.  He turned away from the windows to gaze across the room at the elderly man watching him quietly from the far end of the beautiful old table.

            “If I knew that,” Emilio Sandoz said, coming as close as he could to the center of his soul and to the admission that shamed him, “I don’t suppose I’d need the help.”

Mary Doria Russell

Source: The Sparrow, Pages: 238

Contributed by: HeyOK