A JOURNAL OF EXTREMITY

From "The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila"

"The Lord wanted me while in this state to see sometimes the following vision: I saw close to me toward my left side an angel in bodily form…the angel was not large but small; he was very beautiful. and his face was so aflame that he seemed to be one of those very sublime angels that appear to be all afire…I saw in his hands a large golden dart and at the end of the iron tip there appeared to be a little fire. It seemed to me that this angel plunged the dart several times into my heart and that it reached deep within me. When he drew it out, I thought he was carrying off with him the deepest part of me; and he left me all on fire with the great love of God. The pain was so great that it made me moan, and the sweetness this greatest pain caused me was so superabundant that there is no desire capable of taking it away; nor is the soul content with less than God. The pain is no bodily but spiritual, although the body doesn’t fail to share in some of it, and even a great deal…But when this pain I’m now speaking of begins, it seems the Lord carries the soul away and places it in ecstasy; thus there is no room for pain or suffering, because joy soon enters in."

Roberto Bolano, "Amulet"

John Le Carré, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

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