“I think one of the poignant things about human beings is that they’re so undefended, physically. And that there’s an absolute relationship between that defenselessness and everything that’s impressive about them. I think a lot of us would like to be turtles and porcupines, and I think that in a way one of the impulses of human beings is to defend themselves in a way that nature did not. But I think the other impulse is to just love the experience with nothing to protect oneself, and actually feeling in fact no barrier. People know about their mortality in a way that we can’t know that any animal knows. They know about Earth being a ball in space. Intelligence of the high human sort could be translated as defenselessness, because we can know many things that are very hard to bear,” – Marilynne Robinson, in an interview included in A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson.