This one seems depressing at first. But I’ve been thinking about it for days, which suggests there are many interesting thoughts in here:
“I once thought that truth was eternal, that when you understood something it was with you forever. I know now that this isn’t so, that most truths are inherently unretainable, that we have to work hard all our lives to remember the most basic things. Society is no help; it tells us again and again that we can most be ourselves by looking like someone else, leaving our own face behind to turn into ghosts that will inevitably resent and haunt us.
It is no mistake that in movies and literature the dead sometimes only know they are dead only after they can no longer see themselves in the mirror; and as I sat there feeling the warmth of the cup against my palm, this small observation seemed like a great revelation to me. I wanted to tell the man I was with about it, but he was involved in his own topic and I did not want to interrupt him, so instead I looked with curiosity toward the window behind him, its night-darkened glass reflecting the whole café, to see if I could, now, recognize myself.”
-Lucy Grealy , Mirrorings
The backstory to this quote is that Lucy Grealy was disfigured due to illness as a child, and explored issues of identity in many of her writings.
The idea from this quote I’ve been pondering is the nature of truth. I agree with her truth is fleeting, or the sense of truth, and can’t be held onto for long. But different truths have different half-lifes, some last longer than others. I do think there are universal truths, but they can be less interesting than the truths waiting to be discovered about our friends, families, moods, desires, passions and flaws. Everything around us in motion and it follows that truth in most moments is in motion too.