February 7, 2009

Page 340

All she's trying to do is keep things straight in her head.  To keep the weight of her memories evenly distributed.  To hold the chapters of her life in order.  She feels a new tenderness growing for certain moments; they're like beads on a string, and the string is wearing out.  At the same time she knows what lies ahead of her must be concluded by the efforts of her imagination and not by the straight-faced recital of a throttled and unlit history.  Words are more and more required.  And the question arises: what is the story of a life?  A chronicle of fact of a skillfully wrought impression?  The bringing together of what she fears?  Or the adding up of what has been off-handedly revealed, those tiny allotted increments of knowledge?  She needs a quiet place in which to think about this immensity.  And she needs someone - anyone - to listen.

The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields

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