Monday, February 22, 2016

A Thinning of the Substance

Monday, February 22, 2016

…there are more and more people in the world who have had to leave, been driven from, a country, the valley, the city they call home, because of war, plague, earthquake, famine. At last they return, but these places may not be there, they have been destroyed or eroded; for if at first glance, like a child’s recognition of its mother’s face when she has been absent too long, everything is as it was, then slowly it has to be seen that things are not the same, there are gaps and holes or a thinning of the substance, as if a light that suffused the loved street or valley has drained away. Quite soon the people who have known one valley or town all their lives will be the rare ones, and there are even those who speculate how humanity will have to leave the planet with plans to return after an interval to allow it to regenerate itself, like a sick or poisoned organism…

~ Doris Lessing, African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe, 1992


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