Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reading Life: Pascale Quiviger's The Perfect Circle

I've been wanting to put together some sort of reflective piece on my life of late, but it hasn't been terribly exciting. work everyday, yoga as much as possible, and deadends. The jobs I waited so long to hear responses from have ended unexcitingly in 'you've got a strong application but no'. So the quest continues.

And the reading continues too. I keep wondering what would happen if I picked up books I devoured as a child. Books speak to you, draw out your thoughts, echo your current dilemmas. So without further ado, some quotes, windows into my thoughts... echos of ideas...

In that language [French], a single word, monde, means both people and the place where they're located, and it's because a place is its people.

"I'll ask you then: what is the meaning of life?"
"It's... to live."

Later, Marco stops the car to pick a giant artichoke blossom, mauve and white, its leaves pointing towards every corner of the earth at once.

On one side there is life and on the other, death. During life, we live. Death is simply the completion of that verb.

And I see clearly how at certain blessed moments, the question of location loses all significance, because reality starts to speak our imaginary language.

Perhaps the desire for God emerges like that, with a sudden awareness of time that condemns us to lose small things - the red shovel, a billfold, some gloves - and then the important things - a friend, my grandfather, and summer, several times.

And beneath my revolt against so terrible a wound, I think that for the first time, I chose to be alive. Not by enduring the kind of life that is anticipated, not by taking it from waking to waking, through activities that pass the time, but rather in its perilous nudity; with utter selflessness, I chose life with its black night and its white day, chose it fully and letting nothing slip, with my arms spread wide, in the garden, I accepted everything, all at once...

Hold me in your arms all night, the bedroom was blue and the window open, through the sheer curtain the stars took on impossible dimensions, and you even got up to check that we were still on earth.

The walking man undermines the work we do every minute, he makes us suspect that maybe there's no charge for the fact of being alive. Terrifying: there may be no other meaning for existence but the simple fact of existing. A grandiose fact. A miracle repeated unobtrusively by every springtime on earth, by every morning. To owe nothing to life and, for that very reason, owe it everything, that is to say: owe it life itself.

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