Out of Night’s Shadow Returns the Real Life We Had Known

“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often.

Nothing seems to us changed.

Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same weairsome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness, and the memories of pleasure their pain,” – Oscar Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish.

 

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