Why do we take pleasure in gruesome death, neatly packaged as a puzzle to which we may find a satisfactory solution through clues - or if we are not clever enough, have it revealed by the all-powerful tale-teller at the end of the book? It is something to do with being reduced to, and comforted by, playing by the rules.
When I really want to be comforted myself, what I look for is a story about how somebody could survive something really difficult.
I thought they loved me, and they would scarcely have known it if I had died. All through our troubles, I was comforted with the thought that the brethren in Maulmain and America were praying for us, and they have never once thought of us.
I was a supporting character in other people's lives, which seemed right and familiar to me. I was also an outsider: English in the U.S., American in England, dogged yet comforted by that familiar feeling of alien-ness, which occupied that space where my sense of self should have been.
My father was an Episcopalian minister, and I've always been comforted by the power of prayer.
I started keeping a diary in third grade and, in solidarity with Anne Frank, gave it a name and made it my confidante. To this day, I feel comforted and relieved of loneliness, no matter how foreign my surroundings, if I have a pad and a pen with which to record my experiences.
I am not saying that I'm happy about what's going on right now in our nation, but I am at peace and I am comforted because I know that He's on the throne. That is good enough for me.
I could only try to comfort the women that I came face-to-face with. I was really moved by how much they wanted to talk, how much they needed to be comforted, and how happy they were that we were there.
Life is not to be expended in vain regrets. No day, no hour, comes but brings in its train work to be performed for some useful end - the suffering to be comforted, the wandering led home, the sinner reclaimed. Oh! How can any fold the hands to rest and say to the spirit, 'Take thine ease, for all is well!'
The piano has been my friend all my life; it has always comforted me. Writing songs and sitting down at the piano is not only a business, it's a hobby I enjoy.