Wednesday, July 25, 2007

White Gloves

"There's a pair of white gloves that live in my memory.[...]. The gloves became part of my memory nearly a decade ago, during a turning point in my life [...] The gloves were only a detail in my father's story, but for some reason they spoke to me, and I felt a great release of emotion when, in my mind, I put them on. They seemed to cleanse me of guilt and confirm a path, seemed to connect me to a mythical ancestor who sacrificed himself for me. There was life in them, my grandfather's life. [...]
Ultimately, I put the gloves on because they fit. No one else in the family has fingers like mine. No one else has the same temperament.[...]
… Often the gloves have returned with their whiteness to ease the guilt over choices I have made and help me cope with the small deaths that permit life.[...] It's been eighty years since my grandfather put the white gloves aside. If only he knew how much they have mattered today!"

John Kotre, White Gloves: How we create ourselves through memory, New York, Free Pres 1995, pp. 1-5


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