Where exactly did it all go wrong?

Where exactly did it all go wrong?

I read once that when Genghis Khan entered Khwarezm he was deeply offended by the sight of its canals and ordered them all torn up. Rivers, he felt, should always be free.

I could take a few moments to verify this with an Internet search or, even better but more time-consuming, going downstairs and looking through my library–I’m sure I still have that book, since I generally don’t throw books away and I don’t typically borrow books (because then I have to give them back, and I want to keep them on my shelf for those rare but vital occasions when I need them again). But that is irrelevant for the sake of this thought exercise. Let’s assume he did just that and go from there.

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The Moment You Realize You Lost a Limb

The Moment You Realize You Lost a Limb

Follow my blog with Bloglovin–or don’t, I’m just experimenting here.

Once when I was young I delivered to myself an impressive inner monologue, probably while showering, comparing growing up to exploring an enormous Baroque castle. One of those palaces with a million doors that led to a thousand rooms in a hundred different wings, with all sorts of secrets hiding within: kitchens, courtyards, libraries, ballrooms, water closets. You are free to explore with the caveat that you can only move forward, and with the twist that every time you open a door, a random number of other doors in other parts of the castle will lock themselves up forever. In some cases that won’t matter–you were never going to go in the direction, and most rooms have more than one entrance anyway–but in some cases some very nice rooms and even some entire wings would be closed away from you forever.

I don’t remember the context at all, what made me think about it. I can’t even remember how old I was, which particular shower I was standing in. I just remember the image, of life as an endless number of possibilities, and how aging gradually reduces the option until eventually there are few, if any, paths left open, and what’s left is your life.

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