Was happiness so bound up with the knowledge that it was also ephemeral? And was it therefore always to be accompanied by the stubborn fear of its loss? Something wasn’t right. And yet she believed that she had developed an unusual capacity to ruin her own good fortune with this anxiety, this expectation of something going wrong.
~Richard Bausch, Hello to the Cannibals
This was one moment in the book that resonated with me on a fairly deep level. I was raised on the notion that one could not know happiness without also knowing a corresponding sadness, and it seems to me that every happy moment in my life has held the shadow of the days where things have been equally awful.
I love how Bausch is able to capture that so well in this quotation. It happens in a moment where the protagonist has no idea that there is a huge amount of sadness in her future, it’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come. But of course life is not as tidily constructed as a novel and I wonder if it isn’t possible just to be happy for awhile, without it inevitably leading to a time of despair?