Fertility isn’t power; it’s more like the universe reaching through us to pursue its own ends.
Revisiting old friends this summer with Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye. I picked up this copy at my friend’s father’s wake. He enjoyed reading and had traded books with me before. We were invited to take books from his small but bursting shelves in remembrance.
Cat’s Eye was my first introduction to Atwood. I had checked it out of my local library before a family vacation driving across the States in a Ford Bronco. Lying on my stomach on a pallet of blankets in the back of the vehicle, willing myself not to be carsick while reading, ignoring the majesty of the Rockies passing us because family vacation, ugh. I suppose I was primed to appreciate the quiet terror of navigating the world of girls, where secrets are currency and loyalties are always suspect. My parents seemed equally clueless yet well-meaning, my brother lost to me fighting his own battles in becoming a man. I read about the protagonist peeling her skin while biting my own nails down until they bled.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
– Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
– Umberto Eco