Compression: Kristina Zdravič Reardon

“With a proper amount of irreverent humility, I charge that the task of the writer of compressed non-fiction is to answer, in as few words as possible, the question: ‘What is the meaning of life?’ Very funny, you say. Yes, it can be. But also: Virginia Woolf poses this question in her novel To the Lighthouse. She is famous for saying that books are mirrors of the soul. This inspires me to think that my attempts are writing are not useless; it is perhaps through the process of writing that we craft our responses to her question, that we capture one moment in the constant re-negotiation of meaning that consists of living mindfully. But Woolf answers her own question more fully than I do: “What is the meaning of life? That was all—a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.” — Kristina Zdravič Reardon