Marginalia, no.62

I prefer to accept as a motive not the thing I fully understand but the thing I partly understand.  Utter clarity of explanation to me is false.

~ Saul Bellow, Herzog

Among my less charming personal faults is the inability to understand the motives for my own words or actions.  When asked to explain myself I take up the task with real curiosity.  I’m as eager as anyone to hear what I have to say in my defense.  Sometimes the motives I uncover are interesting or enlightening for me personally, but they frequently fail to convince.  I admit that explanations volunteered by others often sound more plausible.  Still, I feel misunderstood.

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