I pursued one living woman, then another, then I returned to my dead one.
Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, p. 548
A very un-Proustian concise statement, which I will follow up with a very un-Scudderian short commentary. I don't know why I like this simple statement so much, but I find it beautiful and sad. As Marcus Aurelius and the Stoics remind us, all we control is the exact moment that we are living now. We can't change the past and we can barely control the future, and even our ability (or more likely inability) to make sense of either funnels through this one moment. How much more difficult does this become when we always return to the "dead one." However, and thinking back to the other day, we do owe the dead something. Maybe we owe them memory and respect, but we shouldn't live with them any more.