Jim Crace, 20 August 1981
I used once to have a calligrapher’s booth in the marketplace. Bridegrooms came and I blessed their marriage certificates with the name of God in gold-leaf. I provided decorative alphabets for elementary schools and delicate pillow-prayers on silk for the superstitious. The old came to my booth and detailed their sins and their virtues. I inscribed them into a list on parchment soaked in ambergris and sealed them into a tube of bamboo. So when the old were dead, their Sins and Virtues were burned with them.