Daily Archives: September 7, 2019

page 174 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Road to Mirpur Khas

He really is an idiot just giving the truck driver his money in exchange for the rotten potatoes. Still, I wonder how long I’d last in a place like that. Granted, I’d be more cautious but I wouldn’t last much longer.

It’s too bad Arya can’t run their little operation; she at least has sense but in a Muslim world she’s stuck with an idiot who’s ruining their lives out of pure ignorance.

page 171 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Road to Mipur Khas

She is, for the most part, devoid of any emotion. No wonder since she’s married to someone with no sense which means she has to have sense for both of them and in a country at civil war then a young woman is going to be more than aware of what might happen to her, regardless if she’s married.

Were the ducks real? Did he image that? Were they so close to water without realizing it?

page 168 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Road to Mirpur Khas

He’s very poetic, “It was almost as if the water, as soon as it hit my body, was turning into birds, their wings warm and quivering and soundless”. No wonder he’s so poor and otherwise dreaming of where he can pick mangoes whose skin is unlike his own. Only dreamers think this way, not people who are practical. The most terrible curse is to be a dreamer and to be poor.

page 121 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Lost Ribbon

Heartbreaking line, “it is easier to look at death than at pain”.

This was very much like the story in The Brother’s Karamazov where the mother had killed her children because of how terrible her life was and that the point was that we can’t judge another person because we don’t know what they are going through, even if they’ve done something terrible.

page 114 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Lost Ribbon

The scene where she picks the food out of his beard is one of those odd memories we all retain for no reason and can’t seem to forget. It might not even mean anything other than it’s a memory that makes up who were are which itself is odd because that means we’re made up of a lot of things that don’t make sense to us, thus does life make any sense?

page 108 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Lost Ribbon

The act of her counting the colored lentils is not too different than people playing solitaire to pass the time – seems all she’s ever been able to do is pass the time, the fact she’s lived to be over 60 is almost a shame. “All that trouble for nothing” (p 112)

She then compares the colors of the lentils to her lost ribbon, stolen just as she will be stolen when she a little older.

page 108 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Lost Ribbon

I wonder if the ribbon is not only referring to her daughter’s yellow (not white) ribbon, but also refers to a part of herself, such as how she was raped at 14, and also of the way memory works where we don’t remember everything we’re more like “pebbles skipping across a pond” and what is lost is the time spent in the air before impact. She’s also describing involuntary memory a’la Proust.

page 106 of 244 of An Unrestored Woman

The Lost Ribbon

We start off with a murder and she compares this act with the summer heat and failure of the monsoons. It’s an interesting choice to introduce a character who is killing their child via strangulation and then justifies it by saying “If you [I] don’t kill her, he will”. Obviously something bad is also going on – I wonder if this will follow in Dostoevsky’s story of the mother murderer in Brothers?

The Poets light but Lamps

Newton, 1795, William Blake
Background Image: Newton, 1795, William Blake

Emily is talking about how “The Poets” even after they have died continue to illuminate the world through the “Suns” (and there’s a son’s pun in here too) of their art. However, the word “Wicks” as defined as “a corner of the mouth or eye” (OED) implies the phenomena of averted vision which is when you have to slightly look away from a star to actually see it (“The Poet’s influence) better.

In “We grow accustomed to the Dark” Emily gives us the image of the neighbor who, after saying good bye to us, extinguishes their lamp and thus we are left to stand out on the street in darkness where we will need to find our own way and travel by our own light, we must “fit our vision for the Dark”. This is what Emily is telling us her profession is, she is like the neighbor who holds the lamp and greets us in the night and who inspires us to continue on in the darkness to the next poet’s lodge in some vast wilderness.

The first line of the poem is both humble and speaks to the mortality of the poet. She describes “The Poets” as mere lamps whose flame will eventually “go out”. “The Poets” are instruments whose function is to cast “vital Light” and thus it is this “vital Light” which is important, not “The Poets” themselves, it was what “The Poets” illuminate which inspires and lights the way. If life were a vast wilderness, then “The Poets” are the residents of that landscape who guide us on our way towards dawn.

Yet though “The Poets” are only “but Lamps” who cast light into the darkness, they also amplify this “Light”, they are a “Lens” that disseminates the “circumference” of the smallest wick of light which allows those of us who are unable to see the light otherwise. “The Poets”, like the great scientists, such as Newton, capture some essence of truth and beauty and amplify it so that the rest of us can see it too. It’s not that “The Poets” invented beauty or the scientist invented gravity for they were there all along, but “The Poets” and the scientist give voice and language to these things, they cast light on what was already there but had been hidden in the wilderness. And once the light has been cast, “Each Age” of sons (and daughters) afterwards will be able to carry this light to each successive age, like a pilgrim carrying a horn of light through the darkest of winter storms so that they will be able to make camp at the next lodge.

Thus the poet sees the universe with inverted vision, they can see the light that escapes us because we only look directly at it, but “The Poets” are able to look slant, to look a little to the side to see the truth hiding in the halo of a distant star. “The Poets” then report back to us and give us the tools we need to see as they have.