My clever and resourceful friend at Virgin in the Volcano sent me an extraordinary story by Andre Dubus, A Father’s Story. It is deeply memorable and haunting, and you can read it in its entirety here. As for this moment, I’ve included a few salient passages from the story that have sat with me all week:

For ritual allows those who cannot will themselves out of the secular to perform the spiritual, as dancing allows the tongue-tied man a ceremony of love.

Belief is believing in God; faith is believing that God believes in you.

It was womanhood they were entering, the deep forest of it, and no matter how many women and men too are saying these days that there is little difference between us, the truth is that men find their way into that forest only on clearly marked trails, while women move about in it like birds.

It is not hard to live through a day, if you can live through a moment. What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future, and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.

Young women moving about in it like birds…that’s the best description of female adolescence I’ve ever read.