Not only was she the smartest citizen in Trachimbrod, she was also the most lonely and sad.
She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum…
Are you sad, Yankel? She asked one morning over breakfast.
Of course, he said, feeding melon slices into her mouth with a shaking spoon.
Because you were eating then, instead of talking, and I become sad when I don’t hear your voice.
When you watch people dance, does that make you sad?
Of course.
It also makes me sad. Why do you think it does that?
He kissed her on the forehead, put his hand under her chin. You really must eat, he said, it’s getting late.
Is God sad?
He would have to exist to be sad, wouldn’t he?
I know, she said, giving his shoulder a little slap. That’s why I was asking, so I might finally know if you believed!
Well, let me leave it at this: if God does exist, He would have a great deal to be sad about. And if He doesn’t exist, then that too would make Him quite sad, I imagine. So to answer your question, God must be sad.
Brod discovered 613 sadnesses, each perfectly unique, each a singular emotion, no more similar to any other sadness than to anger, ecstasy, guilt, or frustration. Mirror Sadness. Sadness of Domesticated Birds. Sadness of Being Sad in front of One’s Parent. Humor Sadness. Sadness of Love Without Release.
She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her. Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life.
Brod’s life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time.
She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her. But there was no release...
She addressed her world honestly, searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her, but to each she would have to say, I don’t love you
Nothing felt like anything more than it actually was. Everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness.
If we were to open a random page in her journal we would find some rendering of the following sentiment: I am not in love.