"Do you see? It wasn't just the work, though the work was clearly blessed. Nor the rewards, which were none, as far as I knew. It was the life itself - a vocation, like being a hermit or a samurai. A calling. The holiest life that was offered in our world: artist. One that required the purest flame, clear lines of demarcation. Renunciation. 'Sacrifice everything" we would write on apartment walls. "Sacrifice everything to the clean line". Continual offering of our minds and our hearts. Offering impersonally our most personal passion. Most secret vision. What comfort we could give, and give each other. The beauty. Compassion disguised as aesthetics."