Things are not so beautiful as we imagine them to be, but they have more personality, more nuance, than we can reasonably expect.
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
Then the sweet memories came back to me. She was my grandmother and I was her grandson. The expressions of her face seemed written in a language that was for me alone; she was everything in my life; others existed only in relation to her, to the judgment she would pass on them; but, no, our relations were too fleeting not to have been accidental. She no longer knows me, I shall never see her again. We had not been created solely for each other, she was a stranger.
Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah (translated by John Sturrock)
"Decorating and perfecting any subject can be a way of removing all stench of the real until it becomes an astral corpse." - Fanny Howe, The Wedding Dress