on self-protection

dunceWhen I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder.
Everything moved me.
A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much.
A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it.
I did.
Where the smoke from the chimney ended.
How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table.
I spent my life learning to feel less.
Every day I felt less.
Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

— Jonathan Safran Foer, from Everything is Illuminated

Thanks to Lex for sharing this.