Monday, December 10, 2012

Since I don't really sleep anymore

I spend my nights watching film after film and reading (unassigned *gasp*) books.

Last night I reread Susan Minot's Evening and was struck, once again, by a book that for several years was a favorite.  I hadn't picked it up in almost five years and the effect was a replica of the first time.   It is an aching work of how longing, loss, and the heart intersect to destroy and rebuild a woman on her deathbed as she recalls her first, true, love.  My copy of the book is riddled with notes of my own love that connected me viscerally to the text.  Perhaps that's why I love it so much.  Regardless, it's brilliant, extraordinarily moving, and within its pages is one of my favorite love scenes of any book, ever. 

"She watched the wall of fog and felt his heart against her shoulder.  The fog got inside ... Here, he said and pressed against her.  I want to crush you."

“She was pulling a rope out of the water and knew it was coming to the end when the barnacles started to appear and they became more think and clustered. Then it was strangely peaceful and the sound was turned off. She stood at the bow of a ship. If only she could have stood this way above the water and really breathed and let the waves go by like pages being turned and watched everything more closely and chosen things more carefully then she might have been able to read the spirit within herself and would not have spent her life as if she were only halfway in it.

For a moment she felt an astonishing brilliance and heat and light and all of herself flared up and the vibration after sixty-five years was not weakened by time but more dense then suddenly it was as if the flame had caught the flimsiest piece of paper for it flickered up and flew into the air then quickly sank down withered into a thin cinder of ash which blew off, inconsequential. Her life had not been long enough for her to know the whole of herself, it had not been long enough or wide.” 

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