I was looking in the wrong place - I was sure it was in the first chapter, if not the first line or a dedication. It was, in fact, in the conclusion. I was looking for a poem by Pablo Neruda, and there, tucked in between Neruda & a graphic novel, was my book, right on the front shelf. I pulled it out, started reading randomly, and there was my line, the last paragraph of the book.
(Kublai Khan) said: It is all useless, if the last landing place can only be the infernal city, and it is there that, in ever-narrowing circles, the current is drawing us.
And Polo said: The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.