Aunt Edith is busy knitting. I’m crocheting blue eyes out of silk: a chain . . . as long as . . . as long as the earth. Uncle Fritz reads us a story for grownups.

Uncle Fritz and Aunt Edith understand all sorts of things. They are smiling. They often sit in silence for a long time between the lines.
I myself understand, though maybe half.

Outside—white winter. Outside—the field, lonely, bruised by darkness. Deep in the earth, drowsy, numb lives, awaiting another season.

Rembrandt van Rijn smiles at us, toothless and old, from the upper bookshelf.
A light streams upon us.