Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Something I read that touched me very deeply... almost like seeing myself in the mirror. And so, for a second time, I will resort to quoting verbatim on this blog:

"Out of the mists of time when Josef was in high school, I see a young girl emerge; she is long limbed, beautiful; she is a virgin; and she is melancholy because she has broken off with a boy. It is her first romantic separation and it hurts her, but her pain is less strong than her amazement at discovering time; she sees it as she never saw it before:

Until then her view of time was the present moving forward and devouring the future; she either feared its swiftness (when she was awaiting something difficult) or rebelled at its slowness (when she was awaiting something fine). Now time has a very different look; it is no longer the conquering present capturing the future; it is the present conquered and captured and carried off by the past. She see a young man disconnecting himself from her life and going away, forevermore out of her reach. Mesmerized all she can do is watch it and suffer. She is experiencing a brand-new feeling called nostalgia.

That feeling, that irrepressible yearning to return, suddenly reveals to her the existence of the past, the power of the past, of her past; in the house of her life there are windows now, windows opening to the rear, onto what she has experienced; from now on her existence will be inconceivable without these windows.

One day, with her new boyfriend (platonic, of course), she turns down a path in the forest near the town; it is the same path she had walked a few months earlier with her previous boyfriend (the one who, after their break, caused her to feel nostalgia for the first time), and she is moved by the coincidence. Deliberately she heads for a dilapidated chapel at a crossing of the forest paths because that was where her first boyfriend tried to kiss her. Irresistible temptation draws her to relive a bygone love. She wants the two love stories to come together, to join, to mingle, to mimic each other so that both will grow greater through their fusion.


These coincidences amaze her. Never does she feel so thoroughly suffused with beauty as when the nostalgia of her past love blends with the surprises of her new love. The intrusion of the previous boyfriends into the story she is currently living is to her mind not some secret infidelity; it adds further to her fondness for the man walking beside her now."

A wonderful passage from a book called Ignorance by Milan Kundera. The past is indeed powerful, as it claims me from time to time.

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