I just read The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker yesterday and will also post it on my 2013 fave book list. The story mainly takes place in what was then called, Burma. It was so philosophical in an easy-to-read sort of way and pondered what is “seeing;” and how certain things in life affect all of us.
Here’s a sample from the bottom of page 108-to top of page 109 from The Art of Hearing Heartbeats:
“…that life is interwoven with suffering. That in every life, without exception, illnesses are unavoidable. That we will age, and that we cannot elude death. These are the laws and conditions of human existence, U May had explained to her. Laws that apply to everyone, everywhere in the world, regardless of how dramatically times might change. There is no power that can release a person from pain or from the sadness one might feel as a result of that insight—unless it be that person himself. And in spite of it all, U May had told her again and again, life is a gift that none might disdain. Life, U May told her, is a gift full of riddles in which suffering and happiness are inextricably intertwined. Any attempt to have one without the other was simply bound to fail.”