“What one wants in the person one lives with is that they should keep one at one’s best,” says Clarissa Dalloway in The Voyage Out (see yesterday’s post–I really am having trouble getting places as I listen!). As Shakespeare does with Polonius, Virginia gives us a foolish character who occasionally says something intriguing. Clarissa’s is a very mixed portrait in this book, published 10 years before Mrs. Dalloway.
But this comment elucidates something that happens in a good long relationship of any kind–the other helps you to see and sometimes overcome your persistent flaws, doesn’t let you get away with your particular laziness or ignorance or… fill in your specific blanks, but does it while still loving you, still supporting what is the best in you.
And as I was beginning to write this last night, Larry walked in and read me an example of an exemplary sentence, from Thinking, Fast and Slow:
“The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.”