Below, a quote from Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar.
“The landscape of my day appears to be composed, like
mountainous regions, of varied materials heaped up pell-
mell. There I see my nature, itself composite, made up of
equal parts of instinct and training. Here and there protrude
the granite peaks of the inevitable, but all about is
rubble from the landslips of chance. I strive to retrace my
life to find in it some plan, following a vein of lead, or of
gold, or the course of some subterranean stream, but such
devices are only tricks of perspective in the memory. From
time to time, in an encounter or an omen, or in a particular
series of happenings, I think that I recognize the working
of fate, but too many paths lead nowhere at all, and too
many sums add up to nothing. To be sure, I perceive in
this diversity and disorder the presence of a person; but his
form seems nearly always to be shaped by the pressure of
circumstances; his features are blurred, like a face reflected in water.
I am not of those who say their actions bear
no resemblance to them. Indeed, actions must do so,
since they alone give my measure, and are the sole means
of engraving me upon the memory of men, or even upon my
own memory (and since perhaps the very possibility of con-
tinuing to express and modify oneself by action may constitute
the real difference between the state of the living and of the dead).
But there is between me and these acts which compose me an
indefinable hiatus, and the proof of this separation is that I feel
constantly the necessity of weighing and explaining what I do, and
of giving account of it to myself. In such an evaluation certain works of
short duration are surely negligible; yet occupations which have extended over a whole lifetime signify just as little. For example, It seems to me as I write this hardly important to have been emperor.”
What a fine thing writing can be.
Capturing the stray other; which,
Formulating a sense of being,
Seeks to explain it’s Self to itself.
A merry-go-round indeed, but
So satisfying in a nebulous way.
As in ‘Nacht und Nebel’