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Preview — Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
People are not who or where we think they are. And there is someone who watches from an unknown location.
all that kept her awake “were a few squares of chocolate and cold air from the open windows.”
When you are uncertain about which way to go as a youth, you end up sometimes not so much repressed, as might be expected, but illegal, you find yourself easily invisible, unrecognized in the world.
Just a youth looking towards something or someone. As if this was what I really was, perhaps would become, someone not intent on knowing himself but preoccupied with others. I recognized it even then as a truth. It was not a picture of me but about me.
“The self is not the principal thing,”
Years later when I heard he had died, I held up my glass and said, “Only in open fields.” I was alone in a restaurant when I said this.
We are foolish as teenagers. We say wrong things, do not know how to be modest, or less shy. We judge easily. But the only hope given us, although only in retrospect, is that we change. We learn, we evolve. What I am now was formed by whatever happened to me then, not by what I have achieved, but by how I got here.