~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]
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kusala.diaryland.com

2006-07-03 - 3:42 p.m.

Literary Quote of the Day: From Port to Port

I finished reading The Hours more than a month ago now, but the following excerpt affected me very much while I was reading it.

I'm sensing a theme here when taken with the quote I posted just the other day. This is more or less coincidence... but yeah, I still have that nostalgia-obsession going on, to some degree. I'm happy to say, though, that I don't feel debilitated by retreading the past the way I once did. What's done is done: some events were great, some were heart-rending. I can easily take myself to that dark place of "what might have been" if I choose to. I just choose to fairly infrequently these days. Today, in every sense, is just generally a better (and healthier and realistic... and really the only) place to be. Still, all that "stuff"... it never entirely goes away or is forgotten, at least not for me.

How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him... Couldn't they have discovered something... larger and stranger than what they've got? It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future...as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself.

Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. That's who I am a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells hereself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port.

Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment.

~
The Hours, Michael Cunningham, 1998


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