What's strange about the whole thing is that although it's riddled with nonsense, altogether it's true - Julie's told our story, mine and hers, our friendship, so truthfully. It is us. We even had the same dream at the same time. How could we have had the same dream at the same time? How can something so wonderful and mysterious be true? But it is.And this, even more wonderful and mysterious, is also true: when I read it, when I read what Julie's written, she is instantly alive again, whole and undamaged. With her words in my mind while I'm reading, she is as real as I am. Gloriously daft, drop-dead charming, full of bookish nonsense and foul language, brave and generous. She's right here. Afraid and exhausted, alone, but fighting. Flying in silver moonlight in a plane that can't be landed, stuck in the climb - alive, alive, ALIVE.
You'd think the very thought of a romance writer would bring a smile to people's lips. Ah, how nice. Love. Making love. Laughter. Kissing. But no, the world is upside down as far as I can see, and romances and their writers are ridiculed, hisses and generally spat upon. For what reason? One of my favorites is that women who read them might get mixed up about reality and imagine a man is going to rescue them from Life. According to this theory, women are so stupid that they can't tell a story from reality. Is anyone worried that the MEN who read spy thrillers are going to go after their neighbors with an automatic weapon? No, I don't remember anyone thinking that. Nor do I remember anyone worrying about murder mysteries or science fiction. It just seems to be dumb ol' women who might think some gorgeous, thoughtful, giving hunk is going to rescue them. Honey, if any woman thought a gorgeous hunk was going to rescue her, romance novels wouldn’t be forty percent of the publishing industry.
The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.
But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,And even Despair was powerless to destroy,Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy;Then did I check the tears of useless passion,Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;Sternly denied its burning wish to hastenDown to that tomb already more than mine!And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,How could I seek the empty world again?