All we really want is to get to the point where the past can explain nothing about us and we can get on with life.
Whose history can ever reveal very much? In my view Americans put too much emphasis on their pasts as a way of defining themselves, which can be death-dealing … Most pasts, let’s face it, aren’t very dramatic subjects, and should be just uninteresting enough to release you the instant you’re ready (though it’s true that when we get to that moment we are often scared to death, feel naked as snakes, and have nothing to say).
You can get detached from your beginnings, as we all know, and not by any malevolent designs, just by life itself, fate, the tug of the ever-present. The stamp of our parents on us, and of the past in general is, to my mind, overworked, since, at some point, we are whole and by ourselves upon the earth, and there is nothing that can change that for better or for worse, and so we might as well think about something more promising.
– Richard Ford, The Sportswriter