"There's no way to really preserve a person when they've gone and that's because whatever you write down, it's not the truth, it's just a story. Stories are all we're ever left with in our head or on paper: clever narratives put together from selected facts, legends, well edited tall tales with us in the starring roles. I've read the journal so many times now the lines are all wooden and obvious, as unrealistic as a daytime soap or a famous Hollywood movie you've seen a thousand times. The characters look like me and Clio but they aren't us, they're just actors speaking the same exact stylized words over and over and over, with everything true falling away through the cracks."
"Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there's not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.
"Everything is changing.
"In the early days of my second life I noticed how the shadow of a telegraph pole would inch between the gardens of two houses across the street - from 152 to the garden of 150 - over the course of several hours, from lunchtime into evening. After watching this a few times I did the maths: the shadow movement form one garden to the next meant that both houses, the telegraph pole, the street, all of us, had travelled one thousand, one hundred and sixty miles around the earth with the turning of the planet. We'd also travelled about seventy-six thousand miles through space around the sun in the same period and much much further as part of the wider spiralling of the galaxy. And nobody noticed a thing. There is no stillness, only change. Yesterday's here is not today's here. Yesterday's here is somewhere in Russia, in a wilderness in Canada, a deep blue nowhere out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It's behind the sun, it's in deep space, hundreds of thousands, millions of miles left behind. We can never wake up in the same place we went to sleep in. Our place in the universe, the universe itself, it all changes faster and faster by the second. Every one of us standing on this planet, we're all moving forwards and we're never ever coming back. The truth is, stillness is an idea, a dream. It's the thought of friendly, welcoming lights still shining in all the places we've been forced to abandon."
Copyright Steven Hall, 2007. No infringement intended.