Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Uncertainty and Memory

People can settle into uncertainty as they do into an armchair. The folds conform to their bodies, and, after a while, they can no longer distinguish their flesh from the fabric of the chair. So it has been with me -- I've settled into uncertainty that I'm almost at ease.

I get from books what I want to, depending entirely on the state of mind I'm in as I read. It has been a while since I've finished Housekeeping, and here are my thoughts: I completely identify with what Ruthie says about memory. It sums up basically everything in life. After all, every moment is precisely the same and the one that preceded it and the one that will follow after, save for the way we remember the moment and the weight we put on its memory. It is "the sense of loss, and loss pulls us after it." So true -- things that haunt me are the what-if's, the sense that I've lost some opportunity that can never be regained. All of our fantasies, all of our prophecies, depend on our memories. They are merely magnified infinitely.

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