Remember, Remember, The 24th of January

I meant to post this on Monday, in honor of what experts deem the crappiest day of the year, but apparently I was so busy being bummed or something that I just never got around to it.

From The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression:

I find the fact of the past, the reality of time’s passage, incredibly difficult. My house is full of books I can’t read and records to which I can’t listen and photos at which I can’t look because they are too strongly associated with the past. When I see friends from college, I try not to talk about college too much because I was so happy then — not necessarily happier than I am now, but with a happiness that was particular and specific in its moods and that will never come again. Those days of young splendor eat at me.

[…]Don’t make me remember, I say to the detritus of past pleasures. Depression can as easily be the consequence of too much that was joyful as of too much that was horrible. There is such a thing as post-joy stress too. The worst of depression lies in a present moment that cannot escape the past it idealizes or deplores.

I can’t really get over how beautifully this book is written. You know when you were younger, and you had your list of authors that you idolized — adults with whom you desperately wanted to be around some day, just so some of their wisdom and well-placed words could fall upon your ears, calling into attention lovely things, unusual things, putting-things-into-perspective things? Just their presence could be a comfort to you, knowing they were thinking their usual thoughts.

I haven’t felt that way about an author in a very long time.

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  1. Heh. I was worried that this book would do nothing but bum me the hell out: surprisingly that hasn’t been the case. Maybe it’s better in context.

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