I wrote down that phrase, “gradual process of enrichment,” in my notes on June 27, 2003 in quotation marks, forgetting to write down where I copied it from. Dad had passed away a few months earlier. That was just about the time I had decided to write a book, which eventually ended up as All Things Unforgiven, and now, after eleven years, the monkey is off my back.
When parents die, they do so as a final act of teaching their children what love is. If you are a man, by which I mean if you are not a woman, then you are that unfortunate species left out of the possibility of physically giving birth to another human being, which, I am convinced, is the only way to know what love is. And so it seems particularly true that this final act of the departing parents is especially targeted towards their sons, to teach them the ultimate lesson of what it means to love.
That was how I felt then. That feeling only intensified over the years.
Anyone who lost their parents can do this mental exercise. Pause whatever you are doing. Imagine your departed folks. Doesn’t it feel as though you are walking around like a million dollars have been stolen from you, feeling cheated, not angry, but merely having been cheated, by those who passed away?
And then there are these scribbles, from the same notebook.
When you walk on the streets, the life that you encounter is utterly self-conscious-less. The force of life with people, the buzz and their stolen glances of your presence is a full force that thrusts upon you without any, I mean any, none, of the self-consciousness that one individual may feel when he/she is alone. A book should lift this individual from such self-consciousness and place him in the midst of life.” –June 27th, 2003
Youth: “a certain straightforwardness” (Dostoevsky)–July 8th, 2003
Dostoevsky seeks; Tolstoy presents.–August 8th, 2003
I think I like this exercise of opening up my notes to others. What’s the point of keeping them away?