It is then he realises that certain things loom larger than forgiveness and reconciliation: memory, for one, and history, bloody history.
Memory runs along deep, fixed channels in the brain, like electricity along its conduits; only a cataclysm can make the electrons rear up in shock and slide over into another channel. The human mind seems doomed to believe, as simply as a rooster believes, that where we are now is the only possibility
What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?
That echo. It played in his head at unexpected moments, repeating certain sounds and making nonsense of them. But could you remember an echo? Memory itself was like another kind of echo, everything duplicating endlessly, in shadow versions of itself.
It seems to me that when you look back at a life – yours or another’s – what you see is a path that weaves into and out of deep shadow. So much is lost. What we use to construct the past is what has remained in the open, a hodgepodge of fleeting glimpses. Our histories, like my father’s current body, are structures built of toothpicks. So what I recall of that last summer in New Bremen is a construct of both what stands in the light and what I imagine in the dark where I cannot see.
What was our life like? I almost don’t remember now. Though I remember it, the space of time it occupied. And I remember it fondly.
Memory, when it juts, retreats, recovers, shows us how to hold the darkness, how to breathe.
(About the magic bathroom).
If knowledge is money, and money is gold, then this is modern day Alchemy.
Feces (wasted time) is turned into gold (knowledge).
The price of a memory, is the memory of the sorrow it brings.
Unless we remember we cannot understand.