An unexpected, unfortunate accident sundered and unsorted my family when I was 18, causing me (among other odd effects) to graduate and receive diplomas from two different high schools and be included in two different senior class yearbooks.
I used the same photograph in both books, but varied the “senior quotes” that accompanied the photos and the summary listing of my activities.
The quotes I chose were both immortal, genius achievements on the part of their respective authors, but my act of selecting them was pretentious.
It’s interesting: whenever I review old senior quotes, they really do seem to say something about the person who chose them and they always stir dormant, revealing memories.
When I first received the yearbook of the school I didn’t actually attend senior year, I was surprised to read this quote selected by a close friend of mine. It is from Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse:
“To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.”
I have always remembered it because it didn’t sound like him at all. I found it disturbing and had no idea he felt that way. Suddenly it seemed I didn’t know him at all. I wonder what he thinks of it now.