A few words...
I knew I would need more letters... I went to my grandmother, your great-great-grandmother, and asked her to write a letter. She was my mother's mother. Your father's mother's mother's mother. I hardly knew her. I didn't have any interest in knowing her. I have no need for the past, I thought, like a child. I did not consider that the past might have a need for me.
What kind of letter? my grandmother asked.
I told her to write whatever she wanted to write.
You want a letter from me? she asked.
I told her yes.
Oh, God bless you, she said.
The letter she gave me was sixty-seven pages long. It was the story of her life. She made my request into her own.
"Well I'm not taking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I'm just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter." "Yeah?" "If you hadn't done it, human history would have been one way..." "But you did do it, so..." I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars and screamed: "I changed the course of human history!" "That's right." "I changed the universe!" "You did." "I'm God!" "You're an atheist." "I don't exist!" I fell back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together.
"Because what's really fascinating is that she'd play the call of a dead elephant to its family members." "And?" "They remembered." "What did they do?" "They approached the speaker."
Image from Google Images. Quotations from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (New York: First Mariner Books, 2006).