In some senses, then – your life doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the things that pull you, it belongs to the Work. The soul creates itself through accumulation and salvage, and it will perform this industry tirelessly, with or without your aid.
It is not so unusual for writers to dream of libraries, where endless mahogany shelves are weighted with tomes and pamphlets; where the air is thick with the scent of resin, ink, and the vanilla of old paper. A type of heaven for us, perhaps.
I dream not of a library – but of a reading room. Maybe it is just one adjunct in that word house of the mind; a cubby-nook with rounded, comfortable chairs and aging afternoon light from the simple window. A lamp. A side-table. A rug on the floor. I never needed much.
In here, some wise custodian has preserved all the things we might forget; the private languages of lovers now separated; the baby-talk, the jokes that can never be understood by another. In the pages of this little room are words that are inimically bounded by time; and the stories of singular days, of hours, of moments.
All the things we might forget.