“In youth we are not so much embarrassed by the reality of our situation as fearful others might discover and judge it.”
“Otherwise how do we survive that forty miles of bad terrain during adolescence that we crossed without any truthful awareness of ourselves?”
“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. But who did I hurt to get here? Who guided me to something better? Or accepted the few small things I was competent at? Who taught me to laugh as I lied? …But above all, most of all, how much damage did I do?
Sorry — terrible new habit of taking pictures of pages without including the page number.
Ondaatje, Michael. Warlight. New York: Vintage Books, 2019.
Poking around in the OED, it looks like this was initially an Irish noun for a meal served in a particular way. Later it became a verb, which is the way I encountered it, i.e., “spatchcock” the chicken.
“In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.” p.195
“He had dreamed of a kind of integrity, of a purity that was entire; he had found compromise and the assaulting diversion of triviality.” 274-275