Jorge Luis Borges

shinto

When sorrow lays us low for a second we are saved by humble windfalls of the mindfulness or memory: The taste of a fruit, the taste of water, that face given back to us by a dream, the first jasmine of November, the endless yearning of the compass, a book we thought was lost, the throb of a hexameter, the slight key that opens a house to us, the smell of a library, or of sandalwood, the former name of a street, the colors of a map, an unforeseen etymology, the smoothness of a filed fingernail, the date we were looking for, the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count, a sudden physical pain. Eight million Shinto deities travel secretly throughout the earth. Those modest gods touch us — touch us and move on.