Thursday, August 29, 2019

the last book I ever read (What You Have Heard Is True by Carolyn Forché, excerpt five)

from What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance by Carolyn Forché:

From childhood, I had experienced bouts of depression, and my mother had also suffered this during her child-raising years. I would find her in her room sometimes, crying and staring at nothing. She told me that I would understand when I was older, something she said about many things. In my own life, this darkness descended always unexpectedly. That is, it did not seem caused by particular events. The sadness arrived, stayed for a while, and just as unexpectedly lifted.

Something could, at times, push against it. Work did, and also the urge to do something in the face of some wrongdoing or injustice inflicted against another, and this urge swelled during the conversations on the terrace in Mallorca that summer, as I sat on the edge of the circle taking things in, until, toward the end, I also worked at being invisible, because it seemed, from what I understood from these conversations, that injustices of a political nature were not historical accidents, and that most injustices in Latin America were supported or made possible by the United States, or that was my impression. One of the visiting writers had even responded to my plaintive question regarding ways I might get involved with something like: There is nothing you can do, my dear. Change your government. Enjoy your summer.

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