[P]erhaps the greatest thing Kierkegaard has to tell our age is that we might stop thinking of ourselves as occupying an age at all—stop thinking that the meaning of our lives is determined by impersonal historical forces outside our control, or that our primary objective in life is to respond to the peculiar challenges of our moment. In 1848, the liberal revolutions sweeping through Europe arrived in Denmark, transforming the absolute monarchy into a constitutional democracy. “Out there everything is agitated,” Kierkegaard wrote in his journals. “I sit in a quiet room (no doubt I will soon be in bad repute for indifference to the nation’s cause)—I know only one risk, the risk of religiousness.”

Christopher Beha, “Difficulties Everywhere”

This comes close to the end of the story as it is now, but she can’t really end with the devil and a train ride. So the end is a problem, too, though less of a problem than the center. There may be no center. There may be no center because she is afraid to put any one of those elements in the center—the man, the religion, or the hurricane. Or—which is or is not the same thing—there is a center but the center is empty, either because she has not yet found what belongs there or because it is meant to be empty: there, but empty, in the same way that the man was sick but not dying, the hurricane approached but did not strike, and she had a religious calm but no faith.

Lydia Davis, “The Center of the Story”, in Almost No Memory: Stories