Paul Bowles: Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times

Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.

– Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

In a conventional sense, everything in our life will happen only a certain number of times, and the number is often very small.

In a more real sense, what’s here is even more precious. What’s here now is the only that’s here, it’s all that is for us. Anything else exists as a thought, a dream, an image of the past or future.

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