The Multiversal "I"

[Amy Cutler's Army of Me (found here)]

There's nothing like a snowstorm to make me lament the fact that I no longer have snow days, snow pants, a fireplace (with my father who would make fires every day of the year, if he could), and a bowl of stew shared with my family. I found myself lapsing into daydreams all day long, revisiting the multitude of snowstorms, with their ice forts and sledding and accidents, moving from those memories to the tree forts and childish projects and plans.

And then I had a dentist appointment, which involved an awful lot of drilling, and found myself lying in the dentist's chair, mouth open, pain intensifying, and absolutely blindsided by a rush of of the past. I don't know if the drilling had something to do with it, or if it was an attempt to turn from thinking about how uncomfortable I was, but I felt like my present self was becoming unravelled, diffused into the past or set adrift.

It was uncanny and disorienting and I began to think again about the idea of an accumulated self and about the trajectory of life and the image of the individual as a sort of constellation of selves. It just seems so mysterious, the way we live and think and act. So little like the purposeful progression that is generally described.

Perhaps it's something personal to me, but I don't feel very distant from the smaller self I was remembering during the snowstorm. I have acquired some shinier trappings, and a few gleaming ideals, maybe even learned some lessons, but the same core of being still resides deep within.

It may be time to read Woolf's Orlando again...