I recognized him then; that is, I finally comprehended what I had known but had never been able to formulate: he had always been complete. He had finished the work of becoming himself, long before any of us could even imagine such a feat was possible.
I think it's interesting, from a creative point of view, to have witnessed the loss of consciousness on a national level and on a cultural level - Bush had 91 percent support in the polls after 9/11. We wanted to kick some ass!
Every artist, writers included, have an ethics and an aesthetics, whether they can formulate them or not. I happen to think that it is good to be able to formulate - it is good to know what you are doing and to be able to talk about it.
I did not intend to stay; I had no experience in the United States - I may have been here less than 24 hours - but I knew I would never get inside there. And 'there' not being America necessarily, but that harmonious mode of living that some people are lucky enough to have in this country.
One of the many conditions that have to be met for a brain to become a mind, and therefore have consciousness, is 'the analog I' around which all the simultaneous inflow of sensations and stimulations are reflected and organized.
There are studies that have shown that we make decisions, ethical and otherwise, based on the way we imagine ourselves as characters in the stories of our lives. In other words, if we imagine ourselves brave or crazy or open, we're more likely to make decisions in a given situation based on how we imagine ourselves, whatever the facts may be.
I loved you because there was no other place for me to go. We were married because we did not know what else to do with each other. You never knew me, nothing about me, what died inside me, what lived invisibly.
The people who listened to rock 'n' roll, I thought, were bound together against the people who didn't listen to rock 'n' roll. That, of course, didn't work at all. Your taste in rock 'n' roll does not say anything about you, morally or otherwise.
A particular piece of music attaches itself to the piece I'm writing, and there is nothing else I can listen to. Every day I return to the same space to write, the music providing both the walls and the pictures on the walls.
I have two homes, like someone who leaves their hometown and/or parents and then establishes a life elsewhere. They might say that they're going home when they return to see old friends or parents, but then they go home as well when they go to where they live now. Sarajevo is home, Chicago is home.
Chicago is not a bad place to live. But the usual story of immigration is the happy fulfillment of human potential in America that is not available anywhere else - it's propaganda, really. It's more complicated than that.
I think about the story while I think about other things. This is an important part of the process: I look at it sideways. If I look straight at it, it produces nothing other than what seem like complicated, brilliant designs that fall apart the following morning. In some way stories mature when you're not looking.
In the olden days, a memoir was something written by Churchill and people like that, because they had a grand experience and considered it useful for future generations. And then it became what it became - a public purging in which other people have the chance to judge you and then forgive you, perhaps learning something from your sorry example.
When I was in high school, I was in a special math class. I was infatuated with physics, particularly nuclear physics, Einstein, and the Big Bang. I read a lot about black holes. And partly because I'm so lazy I thought you could do all this just by looking at the sky and thinking up universes. It didn't seem like hard work when I was a kid, so I enrolled in this class.
I read everything I could find in English - Twain, Henry James, Hemingway, really everything. And then after a while I started writing shorter pieces in English, and one of them got published in a literary magazine and that's how it got started. After that, graduate school didn't seem very important.