Literary lifeline

Re-reading old books is the closest I'll ever come to time travel.
It's more than the familiarity of the story, the way the words feel soft and friendly
- like memories of a distant relative-
it's the barely intelligible thoughts scribbled at the margins of pages that once made me dream,
or made me despair.
 
I pick up The Unbearable Lightness of Being, because I know that Kundera always challenges me, 
and tonight I am looking for anything difficult, anything at all.
Instead I find my own questions randomly strung next to a tense conversation between Sabina and Franz.
 
                                   All the things we don't know, it says, become our downfall.
                                            How to answer expectations never spoken?

Not sure if I used the story as a prism of my own life, or as a means to step out of it for a while.
The highlighted phrases remind me of another time, one of unexpected hope in the midst of failure.
I discovered some of the few quotes I could easily recite in my sleep in this book.
They've lived side by side with my delusions, exaltations, achievements, 
giving birth to ideas that caused me to change my life and leading me to question those same ideas.
 
Some of my dearest life companions are invisible to others. They live between the pages of books I've carried between cities and countries since before I owned any furniture. How could I ever be lonley when I've got Joyce Carol Oates on my night stand, and Jeanette Winterson in my tote bag. How will I ever lack magic when I can pick up Gabriel García Marquez, or sit down with Salman Rushdie.
 
I was just a little impatient back then, with Kundera in my hand and a broken heart aching for pessimism.
I have learnt this. What I don't know will not become my downfall.
It will catapult me into a world of wonders.
 
 

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