“That is my face”, said Rhoda, “in the looking-glass behind Susan’s shoulder – that face is my face. But I will duck behind her to hide it, for I am not here. I have no face.Other people have faces; Susan and Jinny have faces;they are here. Their world is the real world. The things they lift are heavy. They say Yes, they say No, whereas I shift and change and am seen through in a second.”
As I read these lines from 20 years ago or more, I am struck by a force that is physical. These lines, copied from a story long ago and forgotten… If anyone out there knows the book, the author where this came from, please bring back the memory to me.(A.J. Cronin maybe? ) For now, I am just grateful to have this fragment of my old self back..except that is is not really just my old self, it is myself today and probably for as long as I am. That’s the thing with these things, they distill into them an essence of you, of what you were and are, even when you have forgotten and buried it.
There is a reason of course why those words resonate so deeply.The anchors that bind us to our mortal lives, our bodies, hands and limbs, the earth we live on, these anchors are made of different things for different people. For many they are strong, dependable, certain, and for some they flicker, fade in and out. Many a time I long for the certainty with which other people live their lives and occupy the space and time they inhabit.
Coming back to certainty, yes I found my diary , that’s where I found those lines. And I found a lot more in this diary. It definitely does not have all the answers I needed, but it returned to me many things unremembered and for that I am grateful. I found newspaper cuttings tucked way in its pages, letters and cards exchanged, hand-written snippets copied from books, a couple of poems and passages written years ago. Most of all, it opened the floodgates of time, let some of the existence of years ago be unforgotten. And I am so thankful that once upon a time, one Daddei urged his daughter to keep a diary, asked from time to time if she added anything new to it, reminded her to “capture the fleetingness of time in them and one day you will be not feel so helpless in it’s face”, and I am thankful that at least that one advice, she listened to (kind of..). Even though as I said, it is kind of a paltry excuse of a diary, I never once jotted down anything real from my everyday life that happened to me or the feelings they evoked. But maybe I can change that now.
*Confession : This post above was started and mostly completed in late 2015. Why the world did I take so long to post it? I posted my first article on my blog Aug,31st 2015 and it took me almost 14 months to post the 2nd one, it’s inexcusable so I won’t try. But just for the record, the actual “finding” of the so called diary and the sentiments described above are already abt 11 months old.