Esther yearned to return to Iran to recapture for a

moment the self that she had been long ago. She

wanted to enter the house and garden in which she

used to live in her youth. But that would have

been a most hazardous pilgrimage, which might end in disappointment

as in success. It is in ourselves that we should

rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different

years. We cannot escape reality but we can only

know reality in ourselves. Inside our minds. It was Esther’s

fate to pursue phantoms. Though phantoms prove safer than reality.


Paraphrases from the novel In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.