"The self is a patchwork of the felt and the unfelt, of presences and absences, of navigable channels around the walled-off numbnesses. Perhaps it's impossible for anyone short of an enlightened being to carry the weight of all suffering, even to recognize and embrace it, but we make ourselves large or small, here or there, in our empathies. I met a Thai Buddhist saint once who for twenty years took on tiny tokens and charms people gave him so that he would carry their suffering. Eventually he wore a cloak of a couple hundred pounds of clanking, chiming griefs at all times, and then it became too heavy or he'd carried it far enough, and he put it down."
- Rebecca Solnit
The Faraway Nearby