It doesn't feel at this point that I am going to win this summer either. Perhaps I am one of life's losers and I need to reconcile myself to that. Perhaps there is no progress possible at all. Perhaps I should read more Beckett and fail again but fail better. He's right, in my case at least. Perhaps failing better this time is the most we can hope for.
I was reading a lot of Beckett when I had my first nervous breakdown. Other people have fond memories of first cars and first kisses. I have those too (memories anyway) but I also have Nervous Breakdown I and Nervous Breakdown II. Sometimes I feel the last ten years have been the interminable third part in a trilogy. Like The Godfather Part III, a milder, less dramatic and ultimately boring version of what went before.
The reason I was reading lots of Beckett was I was writing an essay on him as part of my MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature. I say "lots" but it was probably the minimal and only seems like lots because I've barely glanced at him since. That was a long time ago, but I see even today the white threads that lie on my arms and that the summer tan only makes more visible. There is regeneration - the skin on those arms, the muscle and bone under it are all less than seven years old - but there is also damage that makes regeneration impossible.That's what scars are: the death of rebirth.
There are cycles that expand and that replicate. There is waxing and growing. And then there is waning and receding. There is what we thought were neverending spirals revealing themselves to be gyres that fade into oblivion. It is much later than we think.