Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Wisdom of Pratchett's Tiffany

You have to take up wisdom wherever you find it, don't you. This from Sir Terry Pratchett:

..."saying goodbye to his [dead] father in the coolness of the crypt, trying to find a way of saying the words that there had never been time for, trying to make up for too much silence, trying to bring back yesterday and nail it firmly to now.

Everyone did that. Tiffany had come back from quite a few deathbeds, and some were very nearly merry, where some decent old soul was peacefully putting down the weight of their years. Or they could be tragic, when Death had needed to bend down to harvest his due; or, well, ordinary - sad but expected, one light blinking off in a sky full of stars. And she had wondered, as she made tea, and comforted people, and listened to the tearful stories about the good old days from people who always had words left over that they thought should have been spoken. And she had decided that they weren't there to be said in the past, but remembered in the here and now." (my italics) 

It seems to me a great gift and skill to be able to write so simply and clearly, and to come up with a thought that is new (to me, at least) and is powerful, and consoling.

 I salute you, Sir Terry.

(The quote is from "I Shall Wear Midnight," one of his four Tiffany Aching fantasy novels.)

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