Monday, September 13, 2010

Your Thing to Ponder (Too Pretty Too Sad Too Silly)

People possess this odd ability to give me books that I never would have purchased myself, and the books end up being exactly what I needed or something I really love - which is, I guess, kind of the same. 

This passage comes from Alice Hoffman's Green Angel, which my mother bought for me during a low period of my life; the book ended up feeling strangely autobiographical.

However, this brief offering should ring for any reader. 

"When I went to my neighbor's to take her fresh water and fish I had caught with my net, I asked if she thought I seemed the same, the girl with ink on her skin.

"The old woman didn't say a word. Instead, she led me to the staircase, where there were the ashy portraits I'd cleaned. Now my neighbor told me to try to guess which one she was. I studied the portraits carefully, but I had no idea which she might be. They looked familiar, but one was too pretty, one was too sad, one was too silly to be my neighbor.

"Guess, my neighbor insisted. Go on. Which one do you think I am?

"Still, I could not tell.

"Look closely, she said, but even when I did, I had no idea. 

"At last I gave up. Who are you? I asked. 

"Each and every one, my neighbor told me. She shook her head as though I were a child rather than a girl about to turn sixteen. Did you think nothing ever changed?"

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