Clothes and Buttons

As a family favor, or perhaps out of guilt for not attending a funeral, I took on the task of “digitizing” my aunt’s autobiography. She wrote many journals during her life, but with ongoing heart problems she was fully aware in her early 50s that she had just a few years to live. And so she put together her most valued experiences and insights into one book.

She called it Clothes and Buttons.
To be honest, I didn’t really like the title. It sounded a little too simple and in conjured up images of homemade crafts and country cooking in my mind.
It happens to be based upon a poem that she attributed to Mark Twain, and I respectfully withdrew my first impression after reading it. Take a second to read it below:

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written. Every day would make a whole book of 80,000 words, 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man – the biography of the man himself cannot be written. – Mark Twain –

Beautiful, isn’t it?

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