Michael Ondaatje

“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.