Gilead, Iowa

To me it seems rather Christlike to be as unadorned as this place is, as little regarded. I can’t help imagining that you will leave sooner or later, and it’s fine if you have done that, or you mean to do it. This whole town does look like whatever hope becomes after it begins to weary a little, then weary a little more. But hope deferred is still hope. I love this town. I think sometimes of going into the ground here as a last wild gesture of love — I too will smolder away the time until the great and general incandescence.

I’ll pray that you grow up a brave man in a brave country. I will pray you find a way to be useful.

I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.

— Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

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