Sunday, November 26, 2006

The truth about solitude

A strikingly personal description of a day in the life:

No day was uniformly terrible. Even the worst days had moments of relative happiness. And if there were not these moments of happiness there was always something to look forward to in the coming day. There may not be anything to get up for but there was always this urge to wake up. Like this, life went on, tolerable and intolerable, bearable and unbearable, slipping between these extremes. It was not a question of hope, it was part of the rhythm of the day, of the body. And it was part of this rhythm that tomorrow he would wake up with desolation lying over him like a thin blanket, would try to remain asleep a little longer, wanting to put off the claims of the day, to prolong the comforting sense of not yet being quite alive. But there might be a letter in the mailbox and that would be enough to get him out of bed...

-Geoff Dyer, Paris Trance

I am heartened by the optimism in this passage, despite its ostensible gloominess. It is only the possibility of a letter in the mailbox that Dyer dwells upon, not the likelihood that there will, indeed, be so much empty space and dust to greet his hopeful glance therein. Never mind the fallout of the certain disappointment that follows, there will always be something else to look forward to, something that is at once small and important, whether that be the anticipation of a hot cup of coffee or the happenstance of viewing a brilliant sunset: these co-incide with moments of happiness and corresponding albeit infinitesimal moments of clarity.

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