Lightly Child, Lightly.

When I got to the part that went, I shall be telling this with a sigh, he asked, ‘Do we sigh when we think about choices we’re glad we’ve made?’ We went through the whole thing like that. ‘So what do you think the poem is really about?’ he asked me when we were done. I told him it was about how we can’t really know where our choices are going to lead us. ‘Not only that,’ he said, ‘but we’re probably going to regret those choices either way. Frost had a fundamentally tragic view of life. There is always going to be a road not taken. We only get to live once. Nothing we do is ever going to wholly satisfy us in the end.’

— Christopher Beha, The Index of Self-Destructive Acts: A Novel (Tin House Books, May 5, 2020)


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Lightly Child, Lightly

Life should carry more meaning than the facts would bear. Which facts were these: we occupied a tiny corner of the universe, minor planet orbiting a minor star, in an even tinier corner of cosmological time. Still we wanted all of it, the sun and the moon and the firmament that held them, to be about us. This want had been bred into humanity, selected by nature, so it must have served some purpose once, but it had long outlived its usefulness… What was needed now was to know.

— Christopher Beha, The Index of Self-Destructive Acts: A Novel (Tin House Books, May 5, 2020)


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