I had again that second of pure joy I sometimes experience. It came, as always, without warning, and vanished nearly at once. I was on my way to the bakery with exactly eleven pesetas left. It is difficult to define and perhaps I shouldn’t try. It must be the highest and sharpest point of all the senses, or the mind, I don’t know. Remembering, I see myself and the street in a clear but blurry light, static, like a film abruptly stopped. I remember thinking suddenly these words, “Now I shall know,” then, when the rush of feeling I can only describe as pure joy was pulling away, these words: “This is why one lives.” It was like a wave and an inner explosion of light all at once, and not physical in any way.
Everyone should read Mavis Gallant’s journals, excerpted this week in the New Yorker, though sadly unavailable online unless you have a subscription. (via michelledean)
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