28 October 2007

A Whole Life

"I try to see the whole woman," Eddie said to Hannnah. "Of course I recognize that she's old, but there are photographs - or the equivalent of photographs in one's imagination of anyone's life. A whole life, I mean. I can picture her when she was much younger than I am - because there are always gestures and expressions that are ingrained, ageless. An old woman doesn't always see herself as an old woman, and neither do I. I try to see her whole life in her. There's something so moving about someone's whole life."
He stopped talking, not only because he'd embarrassed himself, but also because Hannah was crying, "No one will ever see me that way," Hannah said.
-John Irving, A Widow For One Year

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