The world shrieks and sinks talons into our hearts. This we call memory.
("I love you," someone says, and instantly we begin to wonder - "Well, how much?" - and when the answer comes - "With my whole heart" - we then wonder about the wholeness of a fickle heart.) Our lovers, our husbands, our wives, our fathers, our gods - they are all beyond us.
It's not just the embarrassment of tears. That's part of it, no doubt, but what embarrasses me much more, and always will, is the paralysis that took my heart. A moral freeze: I couldn't decide, I couldn't act, I couldn't comport myself with even a pretense of modest human dignity.
The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.
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