I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.
“The world is an incomplete sketch that never came off,” so said another writer, once. In this quotidian world, things only happen once. Having nothing to compare these things to, we never know what to do. If things only happen once — each instant in our life only happening once — then we will never know what is right or wrong to do. Break up with her or don’t break up with her? Quit your job or don’t? Cross that street or not? The world itself is an unfinished sketch; a plan for a painting that was never made. The world itself is unfinished, incomplete. The world itself is almosting it. Almost life, almost love, almost kiss, almost cigarette, almost fear, almost death, almost hope, almost difference, almost apartment, almost cat, almost dog, almost rain, almost night, almost life again.
And all this, and all these foreign lands, and all this Europe of yours, it’s all one big fantasy, and all of us abroad are one big fantasy…remember my words you’ll see your yourself!” she concluded all but wrathfully, parting from Evgeny Pavlovich.
Fyodor Dostoevsky,from The Idiot, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (via the-final-sentence)