Sunday, September 1, 2013

people I used to be

“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be…”

— Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem


  1. i love how didion brings this closed so lightly. the understatement gives it all a little kick.

    it's difficult, isn't it, the idea of the evolving self. with the evolution so grand the selves become so disparate. i have to see the people i have been as a series of individuals related, like family, and whether i like them or not (and there are a few i do not like at all) i have to invite them all to the dinner. perhaps i'll just try to be quiet while we eat and watch them; see what i might learn. :)


  2. reading today i encounter this poem which refers to the quiet acceptance of self, among other things:)

    A Gift by czeslaw milosz

    A day so happy.
    Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
    Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
    There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
    I knew no one worth my envying him.
    Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
    To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
    In my body I felt no pain.
    When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.


    1. Erin ... I feel quiet exclamation and exaltation. The poem is simply wonderful. And then ... there are at least four things about which you and I have connected in the last week or two. :)


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