Apr 29, 2021
1 mins read
"Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless."
– Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
I first heard these words put together like this while watching an interview with Brandon Lee (I think I found the video when I was doing research for my book Whispers and Other Strange Stories, specifically for the story Stars and Snowflakes in that collection, or it could have been earlier; that's from where I remember it). He was quoting Paul Bowles. It was in-between filming for The Crow that was happening at the time. I have yet to buy and read the novel, but this is one of my favorite quotes ever. I'd love to stumble upon an old copy of this book in a vintage bookshop. It would be quite lovely. Or maybe I should just buy and read the book from wherever I can find it so I don't keep missing out on the entire story.
Have you read The Sheltering Sky?
No spoilers, please.