To what shall we compare the pathos of grieving loneliness?
If a man possessed a letter which he knew, or believed contained information bearing upon what he must regard as his life's happiness, but the writing was pale and fine, almsot illegible - then would he read it with restless anxiety and with all possible passion, in one moment getting one meaning, in the next another, depending on his belief that, having made out one word with certainty he could interpret the rest thereby; but he would never arrive at anything except the same uncertainty with which he began. He would stare more and more anxiously, but the more he stared, the less he would see. His eyes would sometimes fill with tears; but the oftener this happened the less he would see. In the course of time, the writing would become fainter and more illegible, until at last the paper itself would crumble away, and nothing would be left to him except the tears in his eyes.
Translation from Danish by Thomas C. Oden