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Sunday June 3, 2018

How much time must elapse before what merely happened begins to give off the mysterious, luminous glow that is the mark of true pastness? After all, the resplendent vision we carry with us in memory was once merely the present, dull and workaday and wholly unremarkable, except in those moments when one has just fallen in love, or won the lottery, or been delivered bad news by the doctor. What is the magic that is worked upon experience, when it is consigned to the laboratory of the past, there to be shaped and burnished to a finished radiance?
Let us say, the present is where we live, while the past is where we dream. The past buoys us up, a tethered and ever-expanding hot-air balloon. What transmutation must the present go through in order to become the past? Time’s alchemy works in a bright abyss.

—John Banville
  Irish writer (b. 1945)

Source:Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir (buy from Amazon)

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