Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How we lose things

I just read The Mark on the Wall, a short story by Virginia Woolf. Here is an extract about Lost Things:

"To show the very little control of our possessions we have - what an accidental affair this living is after all our civilization - let me just count over a few of the things lost in one lifetime, beginning, for that seems always the most mysterious of losses - what cat would gnaw, what rat would nibble - three pale blue canisters of book-binding tools? Then there were the bird cages, the iron hoops, the steel skates, the Queen Anne coal-scuttle, the bagatelle board, the hand organ - all gone, and jewels too. Opals and Emeralds, they lie about the roots of turnips. What scraping paring affair is it to be sure! The wonder is that I;ve any clothes on my back, that I sit surrounded by solid furniture at this moment. Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour - landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one's hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heals inn the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in post office! With one's hair flying back like the tail of a racehorse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard..."

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