A slim volume packed with luminous insight, cleverly recursive in its themes of time, love and death, and surrounding it all – a haunting ode to awareness, and the infinitely contradictory path a lifetime of self-reflection, (peppered with the unconscious memories and associations of decades spent learning) opens us up to the wonder, unknowingness and ultimately, randomness, of it all.
An eclectic mix of fiction-like introspections (perhaps too intimate for this moniker to apply), Freud and psychoanalytical analysis, fascinating glimpses into art and history, a writers literary “guidebook”, strangely evocative pre-historic science-fiction, heart-numbing Holocaust reckonings, and throughout it all, an existential and yearning human quest, that twists and winds, again and again, throughout and over and under and within – seeking above all else to uncover, to bear witness, to feel and be felt, a oneness with a higher awareness and awakening.
Many of the stories, told in the voice of Matt (perhaps the same “character” over time and place, or at least, his essence, revisited) represent the inner world and musings of an end-of-life-approaching octogenarian, written in the third person, yet deeply personal. So much so that one has the sense of Matt himself (literary Matt, as we read him, or, indeed, our author Matt himself) sitting off in the distance, observing, with pithy awareness and a definite nod to irony, his endeavors, as his life “whittles-down”, and grief and love and the inescapable tenderness of loss cannot help but present itself, again and again.
“I am pleased for these thousands of days that I randomly was bequeathed the ability to live and to be loved.”
I adored this read. A journey into places both familiar and challenging, this book will make you think, and most of all make you question, much of what you may take for granted. About life, and loss, and what is to come. And what, for each of us, it is to be alive.
A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.