Marilynne Robinson and Neediness

One of my favorite lines from Marilynne Robinson‘s novel, Housekeeping, is, “need can blossom into all the compensations it requires”  We are by nature very needy creatures, you might even say “needful things”, and one of our tasks in life is to explore this neediness and find appropriate, adaptive compensations.

And neediness is a quality that we should not insulate ourselves from; for, it should beckon to us at times in our life and we can learn that it can be the doorway into further, more mature “compensations.”

Unfortunately, we often attach ourselves to maladaptive, immature “compensations” and it is always hard to give them up.  We are often addicted to them.  We prefer to “cling to these ills that we have, rather than to fly to others that we know not of.”  (Shakespeare, Hamlet.)


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