The secret of the world is this: the world is entirely circular and you will go round and round endlessly, never finding what you want, unless you have found what you really want inside yourself. When you follow a star you know you will never reach that star; rather it will guide you to where you want to go. It's a reference point, not an end in itself, even though you seem to be following it. So it is with the world. It will only ever lead you back to yourself. The end of all your exploring will be to cease from exploration and know the place for the first time.
Since I was born I had assumed that the world ran on very simple lines, like a larger version of our church. Now I was finding that even the church was sometimes confused. This was a problem. But not one I chose to deal with for many years more. The problem there and then was what was going to happen to me. The Victoria Hospital was big and frightening, and I couldn't even sing to any effect because I couldn't hear what I was singing. There was nothing to read except some dental notices and an instruction leaflet for the X-ray machine. I tried to build an igloo out of the orange peel but it kept falling down and even when I stood up I didn't have an Eskimo to put in it, so I had to invent a story about 'How Eskimo Got Eaten', which made me even more miserable. It's always the same with diversions; you get involved.
There are threads that help you find your way back, and there are threads that intend to bring you back. Mind turns to pull, it's hard to pull away. I'm always thinking of going back. When Lot's wife looked over her shoulder, she turned into a pillar of salt. Pillars hold things up, and salt keeps things clean, but it's a poor exchange for losing your self. People do go back, but they don't survive, because two realities are claiming them at the same time. Such things are too much. You can salt your heart, or kill your heart, or you can choose between the two realities. There is much pain here. Some people think you can have your cake and eat it. The cake goes mouldy and they choke on what's left. Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always did, accuse you of being indifferent, when you are only different.
Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It's a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it's a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time. Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don't believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots. It's all there but hard to find the beginning and impossible to fathom the end. The best you can do is admire the cat's cradle, and maybe knot it up a bit more. History should be a hammock for swinging and a game for playing, the way cats play. Claw it, chew it, rearrange it and at bedtime it's still a ball of string full of knots. Nobody should mind. Some people make a lot of money out of it. Publishers do well, people make a lot of money out of it. Publishers do well, children, when bright, can come top. It's an all-purpose rainy day pursuit, this reducing of stories called history.
I was happy but happy is an adult world. You don't have to ask a child about happy, you see it. They are or they are not Adults talk about being happy because largely they are not. Talking about it is the same as trying to catch the wind. Much easier to let it blow all over you. This is where I disagree with the philosophers. They talk about passionate things but there is no passion in them. Never talk happiness with a philosopher.
Love, they say, enslaves and passion is a demon and many have been lost for love. I know this is true, but I know too that without love we grope the tunnels of our lives and never see the sun. When I fell in love it was as though I looked into a mirror for the first time and saw myself. I lifted my hand in wonderment and felt my cheeks, my neck. This was me. And when I had looked at myself and grown accustomed to who I was, I was not afraid to hate parts of me because I wanted to be worthy of the mirror bearer.
You'll get over it...' It's the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The articularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?