What I Loved

Siri Hustvedt

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6 Fragments (saved in 2017)

The recollections of an older man are different than those of a young man. What seemed vital at forty may lose its significance at seventy. We manufacture stories, after all, from the fleeting sensory material that bombards us at every instant, a fragmented series of pictures, conversations, doors, and the touch of things and people. We delete most of it to live with some semblance of order, and the reshuffling of memory goes on until we die.

People can't help what they feel. It's what they do that counts.

I've always thought that love thrives on a certain kind of distance, that it requires an awed separateness to continue. Without that necessary remove, the physical minutiae of the other person grows ugly in its magnification.

"Forgetting," I said, "is probably as much a part of life as remembering. We're all amnesiacs."

I'm not sure that love is an excuse for everything.

We all live there, I thought to myself, in the imaginary stories we tell ourselves about our lives.