"All stories are haunted by the ghosts of the stories they might have been."
373...examines the notion of self as an evocation of the whole of history, not as one lives it in act or circumstance, but as one's imagination creates it, in the mind and passions. To return to any place of the past is wrought with sadness first and foremost, because fragments of memory over time are condensed, like single lines of poetry, with an ever-narrowing frame of reference. Fixed there like a prophecy, they reveal all that has been lost. What we can know of our own lives is as limited as what we know of the world's past.
Yet it is also as large and mysterious. For a life is illuminated by these strangely radiant deaths, which continue to glow in the mind's eye, like a sort of magic lamp. Underneath it all, almost obscured, timid, retreating, overwhelmed, move a thousand sounds.
the sound of the universe expanding.
the sound of a pearl being born.
the sound of an iceberg heading south.
the sound of a barn swallow not quite asleep,
in a nest, in a barn, and the barn door
is not quite latched.