Here's another one of those startling passages in Kate Atkinson's Case Histories which I have been reading very slowly, mostly because it is dense, and because Atkinson takes such amazing care to reveal the complicated emotions of her characters -- in fact, it is not always what they are doing that matters half as much as the convoluted, subconscious reasons why they are doing it. Atkinson's observations on very human frailities have a way of suddenly sounding waaay too familiar (the hungry mother I wrote on earlier) and this one about a young woman who works feverishly at being perfect at everything because:
"...she was driven by something, only she didn't know what it was but she was sure that if one day she could get finished then she'd be free of whatever it was that was driving her."
This seems such a perfect description of my first waking thoughts somedays -- a long list of things I feel I must do before I can clear the space to get my writing done -- at the same time knowing in my bones the things that must be done are also a way of not facing the "thing that was driving" me.
Art: Andrew Wyeth