thinking

April 29, 2007 at 4:06 am (Uncategorized)

What does it mean to lose someone that you once knew? What does it mean to wonder about whether they will come back? Perhaps, they will or perhaps they won’t, but still it hurts and hurts and hurts. I guess you are forced to grow a strong immunity against it – you don’t talk about it, you keep it behind mental bars, you keep yourself imprisoned and lost, never unleashing whatever it is that gives you pain. It is not often that I speak of the things inside, and when I do, I am not sure if I like it or not, simply because it makes certain things in my past and present true, it brings to life the things I don’t want to see or dwell upon. I am not sure what I am trying to say at all. I guess the more I think about the past and the present, the more I want to run away and break free from those confines that constrain not only me, but the character in the long-long story that I am writing. For some reason, it has been easy for me to write this piece (yet to be completed), since most of it is autobiographical and as much as I try, I can’t seem to separate myself from the story—it is part and parcel of who I am. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s a bad thing, I don’t know. I will leave you to decide. In my story, my character, Paul struggles with the questions that I posed above. He lives in a realm of liminality – he is trapped between a lifeless world and world that has yet to come. He deals with the ontological questions of the human self. Emerson once said, “What little of all we know is ever said!” I guess I really liked this ideal and I ran with it. In my story, there is not a great deal of dialogue because in life, we don’t really reveal our true selves– I know, maybe I am too Hawthornian (is that even a word?) in my thinking, but I do believe that we wear masks. We lead lives of veils and scarlet letters and sometimes I wonder if even the sunlight is pure and true (what will inevitably happen to even
Pearl in the Scarlett Letter?). People don’t really know me, just like they don’t know Paul in the story I am writing. They think they know me or Paul, I can be the epitome of ideal student or the class president or the famous novelist, but that’s no way to define me, a human self. So I just keep writing to see if I can find any meaning in my life, and in Paul’s.  

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thinking

April 29, 2007 at 4:06 am (Uncategorized)

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What does this mean

April 28, 2007 at 3:43 am (Uncategorized)

This is a continuation of my last post. I don’t think that it was quite complete and I hate to leave things undone. I still want to tell you what I think of the book and how it applies to my world. While I was attending a panel on Edith Wharton a few weeks ago, I sat next to my friend, waiting to present my paper, and I thought about how monotony seemed to consume my life –school, reading, papers, correcting papers, and then more school and papers….When would this cycle end? I seemed to do nothing to affirm my place in the world. Lost and distraught, the worst way to be. I was living day by day, but without the conviction and hope that I once knew. I thought about my all time favorite book (a must read! Especially for hobgoblin) — “The Age of Innocence” and the quote: “Beware of monotony. It is the deadliest of sins” and I cringed and felt my insides burn a little. As I got up to speak, I looked around at my small audience and smiled that smile that hides everything inside. I was free for the first time in a long while. I heard my voice, but it didn’t sound like mine. Usually I hate the spotlight, but for this one time, I enjoyed it. I savored every drop. It was me and no one else. I was there sipping ice cold water like a scholar, and wearing a cool personalized name tag…I was surrounded by an air of unreality, it was wonderful and joyous, like the first day of autumn.                      During the discussion afterwards, which was my favorite part of the panel, we discussed Ethan Frome as well as Summer and House of Mirth. I was in literary heaven. It was just as I imagined it would be. Books. Books. Books. Nothing else was important except here and now. I was free again. I spoke, but it didn’t sound like me. I was someone I didn’t know anymore: “Just look at the situation.” I said and drew my hands out for emphasis. “Just look what happens when you don’t do anything. When you don’t take that leap? It can free you or kill you, but it’s still there and worth the fight.” I talked about the “starved apple orchards” and Mattie Silver and the great old Elm tree, and I didn’t know where any of it was coming from and where it was going. It was as if a part of my soul had opened for the first time. I wanted it to stay that way. When I left the conference, I gathered my things, took one last sip of water, put my prized paper back in my folder, took my nametag off, and entered the real world again. My bag seemed heavier than before. I was sad.

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First post

April 26, 2007 at 11:43 pm (Uncategorized)

“Ethan Frome graphically illustrates that no matter how bleak our surroundings, no matter how grueling our labor, no matter how entweined we are with our environment, there existsin all of us a need for love, a desire to connect with another human being in a way that is self-sustaining and nurturing, that defines our own existence through intimate interaction with another person” (11). I love the novel, though some call novella, Ethan Frome. I actually had not read it in high school, so I didn’t have any bleak preconceived notions that most of us seem to have about it. I just don’t understand why so many people that I’ve spoken to seem to dismiss and cringe at just the thought of it. I’m writing to those critics, this book is worth another try. I was in an interview just a few weeks ago, and the question I was asked was: what is your favorite book? I said Ethan Frome, and the eyes of the committee members seemed to jump in confusion and fear. They looked at me like I was an alien almost, but my insides were screaming and panting. Why, I wondered. Why doesn’t anyone seem to understand? I remember precisely the day that I had checked it out of the library. It was the day before I was headed off to
Maine with my family and I was looking for a book for the long car ride. My first spot is always to look within the Book Group Collection, so being the good English scholar that I am, I went their first.
I scanned the aisles, and found a small, thin paperback book with a blue spine. This seems like it would be good, I thought. Its short and the prose seemed manageable for the car ride. Little did I know, the words were as heavy as cold coals. But the entire time I was reading it, the pit in my stomach, mixed with the pangs of car sickness, only grew deeper. I didn’t know anything about anything. I watched these two characters cripple and fall that interminable fall that we all dread. I watched the great expanse of the white landscape take form before my eyes, despite the fact that it was a sweltering summer day. I turned to my sister when I finished and said, “Christie, you have to read this! You have to!” I always beg my sister to read the books that I read, mainly because I love to analyze and discuss. So many times I am too sealed off from people – reading is something I do on my own and sadly I keep many ideas to myself. My sister is my best friend and sometimes she is the only one in who would be willing to listen. Even though she reads maybe only 5 to 10 percent of the books I recommend, (hey, I try) she is a smart kid. She writes with so much power and compassion, almost too much like me in some ways. But, with my constant nagging and persistence and few words of wisdom, I convinced her to read it. “Just read this part,” I would say. And I would point to a passage that I underlined and highlighted and starred numerous times. She would take the book, read it, and then hand it back with a ray of hope in her eyes, as if to say, “How?” Then five minutes later, “No read this passage….You’ll enjoy it I promise.” Finally she just grabbed the book and said with a dismissive glare, “Fine, I will read it.” I jumped up for joy. She was going to travel on the same journey I had just gotten back from. I don’t know how much she took away from the story, but whatever she felt, she had no words to express.  

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Hello world!

April 26, 2007 at 2:02 pm (Uncategorized)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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