She was thinking: If someone cracks up, what does that mean? At what point does a person about to fall to pieces say: I’m cracking up? And if I were to crack up, what form would it take?
“I think it means,” I say, “that chance encounters are what keep us going. In simple terms.”
“What a beautiful name,” Kimberly said. “Does it mean anything? I love multicultural names because they have such wonderful meanings, from wonderful rich cultures.” Kimberly was smiling the kindly smile of people who thought “culture” the unfamiliar colourful reserve of colourful people, a word that always had to be qualified with “rich”. She would not think Norway had a “rich culture”.
We are reminded of the old Persian curse: “May your every desire be immediately fulfilled.”
There’s always been something inside her that men have wanted to dominate, and their desire for domination can look so much like attraction, even love.
The thing to be known grows with the knowing.
And history is vitally important because perhaps as much as, if not more than biology, the past owns us and however much we think we can, we cannot escape it. If you only knew how close you are to people who seem so far from you … it would astonish you. ‘Also, it’s a way of honouring those who came before us. We can tell their stories. Wouldn’t you want someone to tell your story? Ultimately, it’s the best proof there is that we mattered. And what else is life from the time you were born but a struggle to matter, at least to someone?
The other afternoon, when you feel asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.
I am struck by a sudden thought: memories have ways of becoming independent of the reality they evoke. They can soften us against those we were deeply hurt by or they can make us resent those we once accepted and loved unconditionally.
I like you so much, Marianne said. Connell felt a pleasurable sorrow come over him, which brought him close to tears. Moments of emotional pain arrived like this, meaningless or at least indecipherable.