Tuesday, July 10

filthy stinking rich

"I've found meanings around the circumstance, but the actual event itself still doesn't... I can't find a meaning for it. I can find meanings in things and people and relationships that have sprung up, and friendships that have strengthened. I can find a lot of meaning in that, but not in why. I know I got kind of obsessed with that for awhile, the before and after. A lot of things died... There's a line from a book that gave me so much comfort and it said, 'When you've truly lost everything, then at least you can become rich in loss.'"

"Moments that were strung like beads on a thread...and they were very far apart from each other. I mean, it sounds so silly, but a just-right cup of tea. I spent a lot of time taking baths. A lot of tea and baths—double warm."

"This is something that had to be gotten through on its own terms. On its own terms."

Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Williams once quoted a line on Nightline that helped her: " 'When you have truly lost everything then at least you can become rich in loss.' " The strange thing is that Williams misquoted, and for this purpose improved, Solnit's actual words: "And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss."

"I didn't know I had done that," she says, and explains why the thought was so useful to her. "The 'rich in loss' made me laugh. I would just think, 'Filthy stinking rich! Filthy stinking rich!' in a perverse-gallows-humor kind of way. It made me laugh, it made me feel drunk, it made me feel high with loss, in that tightrope kind of way of sadness and hysteria. And when you don't have ideas like that, it feels too messy to bear. It gave me great comfort. It was something I would repeat to myself, like a mantra. Because for some time it felt like we had lost everything. And those words, that idea, calmed me down."

1 comment:

Minerva Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

I like the idea of being rich in loss. Sometimes only when your life has been reduced can you see the true value.

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