UN ALMA CERCANA

the feel of things

Posted on | October 21, 2017 | No Comments

9780807071236-us-300“The imaginable had always been problematic. When I was a child the feel of things went into me: deep, narrow, intense. The grittiness of the street, the chalk-white air of the drugstore, the grain of the wooden floor in the storefront library, the blocks of cheese in the grocery-store refrigerator. I took it all so seriously, so literally. I was without imagination. I paid a kind of idiot attention to the look and feel of things, leveling an intent inner stare at the prototypic face of the world. These streets were all streets, these buildings all buildings, these women and men all women and men. I could imagine no other than that which stood before me. That child’s literalness of the emotions continued to exert influence, as though a shock had been administered to the nervous system and the flow of imagination had stopped. I could feel strongly, but I could not imagine. The granite gray of the street, the American-cheese yellow of the grocery store, the melancholy brownish tint of the buildings were all still in place, only now it was the woman on the couch, the girl hanging out the window, the confinement that sealed us off, on which I looked with that same inner intentness that had always crowded out possibility as well as uncertainty. It would be years before I learned that extraordinary focus, that excluding insistence, is also called depression.”

Vivian Gornick, Fierce Attachments: A Memoir

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