Saturday, January 15, 2005

...might it not be possible for a bad night's sleep to somehow leave a trace of itself on one's sheets? A remnant of melancholy, perhaps, which the linen could in some way absorb. Is it not in any way plausible...that my recent disturbed sleep might be the result of some ill feeling, previously sweated out, which, when rewarmed by my body, is made potent once again?
- Mick Jackson, The Underground Man

Our life experience is kept safe and sound in the strongroom of our Memory. It is here that we store our pasts. We keep no other record, save the odd souvenir, of life's small successes, its staggering failures, of those whom we have loved and (if we are fortunate) the ones who have loved us in return. The only assurance we have that our life has been well spent--or, for that matter, spent at all--is the proof delicately held in our Memory, in those great ledgers of the mind.

But what if the door to that room is broken? What if the rain and the wind get in? If they do, then we are in grave danger of becoming hopelessly and eternally lost.

And if such a havoc-wreaking illness should befall us our only solace would be that we might at least remain ignorant of what we had lost, and be left to live out our feeble days in a childlike ignorance. Yet, from what John Snow said, it seems he has been denied even that crumb of comfort. 'It's all there,' I distinctly recall him whispering to me, 'but there's no getting at it.'

Deprived of our memories we are deprived of our very selves. Without our histories we are vacated. We may walk and talk and eat and sleep, but, in truth, we are nobody.

- Mick Jackson, The Underground Man

1 comment:

Sparkala said...

That's it, I need to borrow the underground man from you when you have finished reading it.

I also need to return the rather large stack of wonderful books that you thrust upon me now that I have finished reading them.