I hadn’t read Camus for a while. A decade now; almost two.
(It somehow confuses me to be able to talk about the past in decades and not years.)
I remember him well as he was the first author whose books I bought at Kinokuniya, the bookstore I always found too high-end, but that carried the more obscure titles.
The Myth of Sisyphus; The Stranger; The Plague.
Don’t think I really understood what I was reading then, but it felt kinda cool to be able to say that I was reading Camus. Not that anybody asked.
Recently his named popped up in another book I was reading.
I can’t quite recall what book it was; perhaps it wasn’t even a book but a magazine.
But seeing his name brought back memories; and so I went to my library app and looked for him, and found him, and got me a digital copy of The Myth of Sisyphus (and other Essays).
For some reason I went first to the essay called Return to Tipasa; and damn was I blown away… but in a subtle way. (Breezed away, perhaps? A chilly, chilly one.)
The writing was beautiful, and because he was around the age I am now when he was writing it, it felt a little more personal. And there was these couple of sentences that made me take pause:
I read my age in faces I recognized without being able to name them. I merely knew that they had been young with me and that they were no longer so.Albert Camus
It reminded me of some thoughts I had recently after a trip from Malaysia, visiting relative-in-laws whom I hadn’t seen in almost three years due to the pandemic.
Many of the younger ones were just kids when I last saw them, in school, but were now no longer. And the older relatives were older; showing hints of a seniority I had never associated with them.
It made me aware of my own aging that I had never noticed.
But why would I? Like the gradual setting of the sun it’s there and then it’s gone. You never really notice it going down by degrees.
Not really anyway.
It made me aware that if I was aging so were those around me.
People I loved.
People whom I wished would be around forever.