Monday, February 18, 2008

Someone understands

The previews on TV for the new movie "Atonement" sparked my interest, especially after having read and enjoyed Ian McEwan's latest novel a few months ago, "On Chesil Beach". So I picked up "Atonement" at the bookstore a few days ago. Haven't finished it yet (a great read so far, by the way), but just had to share the opening of Chapter 6.

As I read, I realized that the author had managed to put into words what a migraine is like.
"... Emily Tallis had withdrawn from the white glare of the afternoon's heat to a cool and darkened bedroom. She was not in pain, not yet, but she was retreating before its threat. There were illuminated points in her vision, like little pinpricks, as through the worn fabric of the visible world was being held up against a far brighter light. She felt in the top right corner of her brain a heaviness, the inert body weight of some curled and sleeping animal; but when she touched her head and pressed, the presence disappeared from the coordinates of actual space. Now it was in the top right corner of her mind, and in her imagination she could stand on tiptoe and raise her right hand to it. It was important, however, not to provoke it; once this lazy creature moved from the peripheries to the center, then the knifing pains would obliterate all thought... It bore her no malice, this animal, it was indifferent to her misery. It would move as a caged panther might: because it was awake, out of boredom, for the sake of movement itself, or for no reason at all, and with no awareness. She lay rigidly apprehensive, held at knifepoint, knowing that fear would not let her sleep and her only hope was in keeping still." (from Atonement by Ian McEwan, Anchor Books, 2001)

Finally, someone truly understands.

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