Then he saw the truth pass out of her face. Sometimes truth is like a physical liquid that can leak out, or when it turns into liquid there is no container for it. His dog had been fine. His parents had argued. His parents were splitting up, he knew that, but what he did not know until this moment was that no one had a practical answer for the dog. The pure truth of the event leapt off the orb of her eyeball, it was a visual story that bounced off his eyes.
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I don’t remember a whole lot about that period; I appear to have bought a couple of truly depressing sweaters, the kind you only wear when all you really want is to curl up under the bed for several years, which occasionally made me wonder about the wisdom of any relationship I had acquired around the same time.
With so much reading ahead of you, the temptation might be to speed up. But in fact it’s essential to slow down and read every word. Because one important thing that can be learned by reading slowly is the seemingly obvious but oddly underappreciated fact that language is the medium we use in much the same way a composer uses notes, the way a painter uses paint. I realize it may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how easily we lose sight of the fact that words are the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
Every organization is dysfunctional to some degree, but innovative organizations, in their moment of glory, tend to slide toward uncoordinated communication, furious bouts of genius, and life-threatening disorganization. Everyone involved swears they will institute just enough structure to prevent flameout in the future, but I’ve never seen radical innovation emerge from an outfit that wasn’t halfway to unraveling at the epicenter of change. Most of the studies of optimal evolution in complex systems confirm this view.