“I believe in that line from An Imperial Affliction. ‘The risen sun too bright in her losing eyes.’ That’s God, I think, the rising sun, and the light is too bright and her eyes are losing but they aren’t lost.” - John Green
submission from thingsthatmakeyousayhay
The whole story of this quote: As I recall, it ended up being the last line of An Imperial Affliction, the fictional novel Hazel Lancaster loves in The Fault in Our Stars. But the line is actually from the first not-terrible short story I ever wrote, “Double On-Call,” which is about a young chaplain spending 48 straight hours with the family of a 3-year-old who has been seriously injured by her 19-year-old father. At the very end of the story, the chaplain drives home, the risen sun too bright in his losing eyes. I decided to repurpose that line for An Imperial Affliction. (Actually, almost every ‘quote’ from An Imperial Affliction is something I wrote somewhere else for some other reason.)
A bunch of stuff went into that quote, I guess: Frank Sinatra’s last words were “I’m losin’,” and I’ve always found that really beautiful. Plus, Christian theologians have for nearly 200 years used the risen sun as a metaphor for the risen Son.
But most importantly, there isthe idea—returned to in the novel over and over again—that the things that hurt us are often the things that help us, and the whole dichotomy between creation and destruction is totally false, I think. We live in a universe that seems committed to making and unmaking all that is possible, you know?
Anyway, in all the time (12 years?) I’ve lived with those words, I certainly never imagined them on anyone’s back. I hope this is not your first tattoo, OP, but I am honored.