from The Tent by Margaret Atwood
ii) Orphans have bad experiences: in barns, in cellars, in automobiles, in woodsheds, in vacant fields, in empty classrooms. It is because they’re so tempting. It is because they’re so damaged. It’s because they’re so easily broken. It’s because they’re so available. It’s because they’re so exotic. It’s because no one will believe what they say.
vi) On the other hand how sad, to make your way like a snail, a very fast snail but a snail nonetheless, with no home but the one on your back, and that home an empty shell. A home filled with nothing but yourself. It’s heavy, that lightness. It’s crushing, that emptiness.
x) It’s a good excuse, though, orphanhood. It explains everything – every mistake and wrong turn. As Sherlock Holmes declared, She had no mother to advise her. How we long for it, that lack of advice! Imprudence could have been ours. Passionate affairs. Reckless adventures. Of course we’re grateful for our stable upbringings, our hordes of informative relatives, our fleece-lined advantages, our lack of dramatic plots. But there’s a corner of envy in us all the same. Why doesn’t anything of interest happen to us, coddled as we are? Why do the orphans get all the good lines?
xi) (And consider: It is loss to which everything flows, absence in which everything flowers. It is you, not we, who have always been the children of gods.)