why didn’t you understand this?

Posted: April 29th, 2015 | No Comments »

toni morrison, Michael Lionstar/Knopf/AP

from another fresh air interview i listened to yesterday (you can listen to a lot of podcasts on a 7 hour drive) (7 to be exact) — toni morrison. what she says about regret really resonated — i somehow have been feeling those “tiny, little messes” more acutely this year.

GROSS: …Why do you think later in life you started focusing on everything you thought you perhaps did wrong?

MORRISON: I guess I’m depressed. (Laughter) I don’t know. I can’t explain it. Part of it is the irritability of being 84, and part of it is being not as physically strong as I once was. And part of it is my misunderstanding, I think, of what’s going on in the world. And so writing, for me, is the big protection. But when I’m not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don’t recommend this by the way (laughter) — and you pick up, oh, what did you do that for? Why didn’t you understand this — not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. So it’s a long period of — it’s not profound regret. It’s just a wiping-up of tiny, little messes that you didn’t recognize as a mess when they were going on.


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