I used to copy down favorite passages in a notebook.  A small five by seven three-ring binder.  I could move the pages around, organize them.  I haven’t written in it in a while.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe too busy writing myself.  Anyway, I was looking through it today to see if what mattered before still did.  And most do.  I found four pages worth of sentences and paragraphs from The Rest of Life, by Mary Gordon.  When I got to this passage, I stopped, right there in the G’s, so I could copy it here.  It makes me want to read the book again, despite the huge tower of unread books in my study.  Here it is.  See if you don’t want to rush to your shelf or out to find it:

“She sees that she has before her an important task: to understand that all the things that happened in her life happened to her.  That she is the same person who was born, was a child, a girl, a young woman, a woman, and now she is old.  That there is some line running through her body like a wick.  She is the same person who was once born.  All the things that happened to her hapened to one person…’I’m trying to understand what it means to have had a life.'”