In Scotland, when people congregate, they tend to argue and discuss and reason; in Orkney, they tell stories.
Without the story - in which everyone living, unborn and dead, participates - men are no more than bits of paper blown on the cold wind.
The first few glasses of beer were a revelation; they flushed my veins with happiness; they washed away all cares and shyness and worries. I remember thinking to myself, If I could have two pints of beer every afternoon, life would be a great happiness.
As soon as the seal was clear of the water, it reared up and its skin slipped down to the sand. What had been a seal was a white-skinned boy
Old wisdom out of the cluster of gathering shadows.
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