'It could be true that my interest in abstractions, which would have been forgiven first on grounds of youth and then on grounds of eccentricity, is now being forgiven on grounds of senility, which would mean people have stopped trying to see the sense in the things I say the way they once did. That would be by far the worst form of forgiveness.'
- John Ames
In other words, merely being tolerated is experienced as a far worse form of forgiveness than that which is at least a kind of forbearance.
Marilynne Robinson's Gilead is a series of profound asides.