Christian Wiman: “The sick person becomes very adept…”

The sick person becomes very adept at distinguishing between compassion and pity.  Compassion is someone else’s suffering flaring in your own nerves. Pity is a projection of, a lament for, the self.  All those people weeping in the mirror of your misery?  Their tears are real, but they are not for you.

My Bright Abyss, page 157.  (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: NY)

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