Janus, Backwards

… the statue of Janus is a useless waste, the truth is that after forty years of age we have our real face on the back of our heads, looking desperately backwards … but what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously until one’s self itself becomes a vicar, the backward looking face opens its eyes wide, the real face slowly becomes dim as in old pictures and Janus is sufficiently any one of us … We must establish ourselves in the present once more. 

- Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch