Sunday, September 29, 2013

I have often reflected on the parallels between reading a book and being a friend, and on being an "open book" easily read and comprehended.. Every book has a darker deeper mind which is seething with secrets, a mind so unfathomable that you will be excluded from it even after a million re-readings. Our knowledge of our friends is formed not just from the events of their life that we witness first hand, but also from their stories and silences, pages in a book that deceive us into an intimacy ephemeral and fractional.

 Self-knowledge is a quest equally fraught with traps though we are the best chroniclers of our own lives. Were I given an indefinite amount of time in a hypothetical afterlife, to put down in writing everything I know about the life I have led so far, I would spend an eternity with pen and paper even if my lifetime spans 25 years. The impossibility of relying on  memory to understand a mind, even if it is my own, is as difficult to resign oneself to as an author's assumed familiarity with his own writing, that fails him when he encounters a sentence that he does not recognize as words flowing from his own hand. 

We love the books that filled our childhood fantasies even when we cannot recollect its contents in their entirety just as we love old friends whose birthdays we have forgotten. We know them in spite of not being a part of  their lives just as we know a story which has left the pages in a book to continue its existence in an alternate universe, just as we notice water dripping from the rooftop in the morning to be assured that it has rained at night.