near to the wild heart

~ ‘She twirled around and stopped still, watching without curiosity the walls and ceilig that spun and melted away. She walked on tiptoe only treading on the dark floorboards. She closed her eyes and walked, hands outstretched, until she came to a piece of furniture. Between her and the objects there was something, but whenever she caught that something in her hand, like a fly, and peeked at it—though she was careful not to let anything escape—she only found her own hand, rosy pink and disappointed. Yes, I know the air, the air! But it was no use, it didn't explain things. That was one of her secrets. She would never allow herself to say, even to her father, that she never managed to catch “the thing.” Precisely the things that really mattered she couldn't say. She only talked nonsense to people. Whenever she told Rute secrets, for example, she'd then get angry with Rute. It really was best to keep quiet. Another thing: if something hurt and if she watched the hands of the clock while it hurt, she'd see that the minutes counted on the clock passed and the hurt kept on hurting. Or, even when nothing hurt, if she stood in front of the clock watching it, whatever she wasn't feeling was also greater than the minutes counted on the clock. Now, when happiness or anger happened, she'd run to the clock and watch the seconds in vain.’ (p. 6)

Uit Near to the Wild Heart van Clarice Lispector (New Direction Books, vert. Alison Entrekin).

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