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August 20, 2004

Truth Gave Me Her Icy Kiss

Bugshaw is marking her birthday with the traditional question "Is this all I get"? My birthdays vary, but this year I too celebrated my birthday with a dose of moping. Wasn't I supposed to change the world? Whoops, something seems to have gone awry there. And I quickly set to counting all the things good in my life, like you do, and reflecting that the relatively few things that are less good are reasonable consequences of the choices I've made. And the birthday feeling slipped away again.

Bridget asks if she still has the potential to attain 'special', by which she clearly means not the everyday humdrum special that she's clearly attained already, but to do something extraordinary and notable. While I was getting old, I noticed that most of the extraordinary and notable things that people do make them no happier. But still. I know what she means.

In the story notes in Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang quotes Kurt Vonnegut writing in the 25th anniversary edition of Slaughterhouse-Five:

"To ... all others younger than myself I say, 'Be patient. Your future will come to you and lie down at your feet like a dog who knows and loves you no matter what you are.' "

I've shortened the quote from a longer one -- it's well worth buying one of these books just for the quote.

Posted by Alison at August 20, 2004 08:04 PM


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