“It has something to do with preserving life’s mystery; with leaving certain things undescribed, unspecified, and unknown; with savoring certain emotions… It depends on an intensified sense of life’s preciousness and fragility”
“Each of us has a certain resolute innerness—a kernel of selfhood that we can’t share with others… There can be something enjoyable, even revelatory about that feeling of self-protection, which is why we seek out circumstances in which we can feel more acutely the contrast between the outside world and our inner selves”
“By learning to leave your inner life alone, you learn to cultivate and appreciate it… And you gain another, strangely spiritual power: the power to regard yourself abstractly. Instead of getting lost in the details of your life, you hold onto the feelings, the patterns, the tones” [On Virginia Woolf & Privacy]
Perhaps that is the allure of lyricism, even when essaying (“to balance our need to be known with our need to be alone”). There is a compulsion toward truth and the articulation of truths, but there is also a compulsion toward opacity, shadows, white space.