We Become What We Have Loved

Van_Gogh-basket-with-flower-bulbs

“Every day I make some gesture, think or feel something through the influence of one or another of these friends.  When I plant bulbs I pat the earth around each one and realize suddenly that that is what my mother did; I never cook carrots without remembering thyme, a little onion, and sugar as Celine used to do, or make my bed without a vivid recalling of Grace Dudley’s insistence on hospital corners as we stretched a sheet taut between us; when I take my father’s cane on a walk with my dog I find myself striding along as briskly as he did; on the rare occasions when I drink a martini the image wells up of the square cut-glass bottle with buffalo grass in it from which Kot poured gin for James Stephens and me; I see the reds among the fresh greens of spring with Quig’s eyes.  These are not conscious evocations nor very important in themselves, but it is their interweaving through every day that explains what influence truly is.  We become what we have loved.”

May Sarton, A World of Light-Portraits and Celebrations

 

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