On Adolesence from Yann Martel

“Solitude became a pleasure. There are certain moments of adolescence that are far beyond the grasp of words. You are quiet, you are looking at a field, say, ora row of books in a library, when suddenly things appear sharp and precise, and there is a tinkle. That’s not the right word. What I mean is, because of your youth and overarching vitality you have tricked life into overlooking you, and you have crept up on it from behind and you are near its heart and you can hear its heartbeat. It’s not a roaring throb you hear but something very quiet, a gentle quiver to the field, to the row of books, something so quiet that it is more visual than aural, the merest shimmer…this is what I mean by tinkle, by shimmer, by heartbeat: a vague awareness during adolescence that vitality is stripping comprehension.”

… from the same book:

“Childhood, like wisdom, is an emotion. Feelings are what register deeply of one’s early years. What the eye catches, the visual aspects of those feelings, is secondary. So it is that I have no memories of clothes, of skin, of limbs, of body, of my own physical self as a child. As if, paradoxically, I were then nothing but a huge eager eye, an emotional eye, looking out, always looking out, unaware of itself.”

-from ‘Self’ by Yann Martel, sent to me by a good friend.


~ by kcanderson on February 24, 2010.

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