When I am spending few days by my own, the perception of absence and presence changes and reveals a different density to my senses, which look altered, out of habits.
The two categories seem to mingle and be intertwined, as absence is related to a presence (mine and others’ one as well in terms of rooms and spaces empty but still there and full of traces and remains), and my presence calls for others’ absence, as an amputate body feels the pain of the missing limb (in medicine the phantom limb sensation).
Marguerite Yourcenar in “Fires” explains with tremendous lucidity this feelings of love and complicity, despite the “not being there” or because of the “being there” of someone:
Absent, your face expands so that it fills the universe. You reach the fluid state which is the one of ghosts. Present, your face condenses, you achieve the concentration of the heaviest metals, of iridium, of mercury. This weight kills me when it falls on my heart.
Regarding the book I agree with this review.