“In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived.”
—Susan Orlean, “Library Book.” New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018 quoted in Joanne McNeil. “I Don’t Want This Party to End.” All My Stars. July 9, 2019.
Joanne McNeil’s discussion of her secret library is lovely.