In A Split-Pea Shell

“Have you got a secret, Alexandra?” he asked.

She heard his question, and smiled at it, and nodded a couple of times as if to someone a long way off. “My secret is called Tatiana,” she said.

“That’s a good name,” he said. “Tatiana. How did you come by that?”

Raising her head, she smiled radiantly at the icons on the wall. “It is forbidden to talk about it,” she said. “If you talk about it, nobody will believe you, but they put you in a clinic.”

“But you are in a clinic already,” he pointed out.

“Are you God?”

“No, I’m just an ordinary person.”

“Mother Felicity says that in every ordinary person, there is a part that is God.”

This time it was his turn to take a long while to reply. His mouth opened, then with uncharacteristic hesitation closed again.

“I have heard it said too,” he replied, and looked away.

—John Le Carre, Smiley’s People

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2 Responses to “In A Split-Pea Shell”


  1. 1 sally November 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I love how you are always taking me places I have never been! Namaste –xoxox


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When I Worked

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