“Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply that same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.”—George Orwell, from Chapter 3 of 1984
Her whisper: a muffled, trembling attempt at honesty; a guarded stab at a point she desperately wants to make. But the world, being loud and harsh and without pity, distracts him, so he never hears her words.
The passed moment, the missed opportunity to see eye to eye, maybe it will amount to naught. Perhaps it will never be anything more than a whisper. But she worries: about a missed foothold, a small slip that will send a single small rock down the cliff face of their shared existence—that will result in a landslide of gravel, of dust and scree and boulder that will demolish the world below.
She worries about her many past missteps, and the feeling—it does not pass.