From The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes:
“I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another…Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it; some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and then there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves, at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of.”
I would add to this list another attempt at repair: some spend their lives in silence, hiding the damage–the preferred method for those whose breakage falls into that particularly dark, black-hand category of wrongs—rape, assault, adultery, suicide, addiction!—the conversation-stoppers that can leave the most stubborn, marring stains.
We all suffer damage, one way or another…and yet like an earthquake that causes no fatalities until the aftershocks reduce the city to rubble, the aftermath of damage—the tremors and cracks in the infrastructure that occur long after the shaking has stopped—the aftermath determines the destruction perhaps even more than that which caused it.
Repair carefully, my friends, with constant maintenance–and be sure to keep an eye out for those cracks in the sidewalk.