“From the long box that was Palm cord, she drew out a second square of glass and put in in place with the other. The board changed; colors mixed and became other colors; masses changed shape, became newly related to other masses.

‘Do you see?’ she said. ‘The saints are like the slides of the System. Their interpenetration is what reveals, not the slides themselves.’

‘It’s like the saints,’ I said, ‘because they made their lives transparent, like the slides; and their lives can be placed before our own, in our remembering their stories, and reveal things to us about ourselves. Not the stories or the lives themselves, but their—’

‘Interpenetration, yes,’ Painted Red said. ‘They’re saints not because of what they did, especially, but because in the telling of it, what they did became transparent, and your own life could be seen through it, illuminated.’ ”

(John Crowley, Engine Summer, p. 412 in Otherwise.)

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