Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Commonplace, Updike

". . . thinking about human animals, how marvellous the biological machinery that gives us consciousness, and how we mostly just throw it away; even if we don't commit suicide, we presume to find life dull and be bored most of the time, and discontented, and just waste it; I bet that's why Hamlet appeals to us so much, out of all Shakespeare's plays, it's the one we take personally, it expresses this disregarded quality of life, the waste of our minds, our bodies, of everything that should make us joyful and careful. Am I making any sense?" For she can go too far, she knows; since childhood she has felt her overflowing spirit back up, meeting resistance in the faces of others, the blood in her own face damming in a blush.

--John Updike, Seek My Face 205 (Ballantine, 2002)

I still can't decide whether the comment on ennui is what gets me, or my identification with the parting confession of "meeting resistance" when she "go[es] to far." In any event, a passage that gives me pause, and rings true (and familiar) in many ways.



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