Tuesday, October 9, 2012


"He descended the small hill to the vault, in a corner of the graveyard, just as Jean had described it, so long before. Along the rough stone building was a wooden bench. He sat, leaning back, his head against the wall. He looked out to the adjacent field, empty, without even the single black horse from Jean's childhood. He imagined her as a young girl with her father, almost as if it were his own memory, reading together by the thick oak door.

Jean's childhood, her web of memory and unconscious memory, had once been her gift only to him. Now it had been given to another. This was the loss that overwhelmed him the most. Our memories contain more than we remember: those moments too ordinary to keep, from which, all our lives, we drink. Of all the privileges of love, this seemed to him the most affecting: to witness, in another, memories so deep they remain ineffable, glimpsed only by an intuition, by an illogical preference or an innocent desire, by a sorrow that arises out of seeming nothingness, an explicable longing."

Page 328, 'The Winter Vault', Anne Michaels

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