The Miracle of Being Awake

Suddenly some force shoved him in the chest, in the side, choked his breath still more, he fell through the hole, and there, at the end of the hole, something lit up. What was done to him was like what happens on the train, when you think you are moving forward, but are moving backward, and suddenly find out the real direction…. He opened his eyes and looked at his son. He felt sorry for him. His wife came over to him. He looked at her. She was gazing at him with a despairing expression, openmouthed, and with undried tears on her nose and cheek. He felt sorry for her…. He was sorry for them, he had to act so that it was not painful for them. To deliver them and deliver himself from these sufferings. “How good and how simple,” he thought. “What’s become of it? Where are you, pain?”

He became attentive.

–Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich

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