Sarah Manguso

Just finished the 2nd of two wonderful books by Ms. Manguso.

The Two Kinds of Decay, after Ongoingness

From the end (don’t worry; it’s not a spoiler kind of thing):

“…Nothing happens in a moment. Nothing happens quickly. If you think something’s happened quickly, you’re looking at only a part of it….

and then, just a little bit later:

There are two kinds of decay: mine and everyone else’s.

This is the usual sort of book about illness. Someone gets sick, someone gets well.

Those who claim to write about something larger and more significant than the self sometimes fail to comprehend the dimensions of a self.

Most people consider their own suffering a widely applicable model, and I am no exception.

This is suffering’s lesson: pay attention. The important part might come in a form you do not recognize.

You might not know to love it.

But to pay attention is to love everything.

To see the future as brightness.

Everything that happens is the last time it happens. We see things only as their own fatal brightness, and there is nothing after that brightness.

You can’t learn from remembering. You can’t learn from guessing.

You can learn only from moving forward at the rate you are moved, as brightness, into brightness.”

“You know, sometimes I get the feeling that we’re just a bunch of habits…The gestures we repeat over and over, they’re just our need to be recognized…without them we would be unidentifiable. We’d have to reinvent ourselves every minute.”

~Nicole Krauss, Man Walks Into a Room

Am wondering if maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea anyway.