I finished The Stone Gods, by Jeanette Winterson, yesterday. I have been working on making my way through the last half dozen or so things she’s published, and one of the things I love most about her writing is her ability to capture darkness, loneliness, sorrow, wonder, loss. The darkness that is inside all of us, the weighty parts of our souls, our inability to comprehend our place in the universe, or define the why’s of our experience, our existence. This is just a short passage from the book, but it spoke to me.
Far out, too far to see with the human eye or to hear with the human ear, is everything we have lost. We add to that loss feelings that are unbearable. Send them out into deep space, where we hope they will never touch us. Sometimes, in our dreams, we see the boxed-up miseries and fears, orbiting two miles up, outside our little world, never could rocket them away far enough, never could get rid of them forever.
Sometimes there’s a signal, and we don’t want to hear it: we keep the receiving equipment disused, we never updated the analogue computer. Shut off, shut down, what does it matter what happens if we can’t hear it?
But there it is – a repeating code bouncing off the surface of the moon. Another language, not one we speak – but it is our own.
I don’t want to recognize what I can’t manage. I want to leave it remote and star-guarded. I want it weightless, because it is too heavy for me to bear.