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    “Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern… the whole world is a work of art… there is no Shakespeare… no Beethoven… no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”
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    (Original post by Confusedboutlife)
    “Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern… the whole world is a work of art… there is no Shakespeare… no Beethoven… no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”
    I guess like much of her writing it is quite loose and impressionistic - often you gain what you will from her vague expression and that's the beauty of it.

    The way I read these lines is she is referring to the gritty, somewhat banal, and repetitive truth of reality, of our existences - that is the pattern "behind the cotton wool".

    The cotton wool can be understood as the words/works of artists, such as Shakespeare or Beethoven, or the narrative of God/religion, which attempt to dress up the pattern of our real life experience in cotton wool. They attempt to elaborate on it, construct something else or other than the unavoidable thing beneath it - the pattern. Cotton wool is quite a superficial material, it doesn't have much substance, and it is airy, soft, delicate, and it is protective.

    The stories of artists and of God attempt to protect us from the unchangeable reality that is behind - the pattern. Such narratives elaborate on the rawness of life, often idealise it, and construct meaning, or something more beautiful from it. But the pattern beneath the cotton wool is something ongoing, repetitive, and unavoidable. It repeats itself, doesn't alter, and simply is. It can't be avoided, changed or re-constructed as something else.

    So, I think she describes in a poetic way that we can pull a cover over the reality of human experience, through inventing or constructing narratives of meaning, but as we search deeper, we find that the only real, and perhaps mundane, source of truth, beauty and meaning, is us and our experience.
 
 
 
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