Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I don't have time to waste.

"Then one evening a great calm settled on him, and he made a decision.  He had for too long regarded situations as temporary; henceforth he would look upon every stretch of time, however short, as precious.  Time would never be dismissed again.  No action would merely lead to another; every action was part of his life which could not be recalled; therefore thought had to be given to every action."
V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas

Last night, for the first time this semester, I wasted a significant chunk of my life on facebook.  I felt pretty bad about it.  I have a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and it's hard enough to find time to do it all without wasting my time on social media.

For the most part, I really am satisfied with everything I'm doing.  I'm not very good at expressing that, especially to my closest friends who listen to me complain on a daily basis.  Thanks, by the way.  I'm really not as miserable as I make myself out to be.

Every season of our lives has its joys and its trials.  Every single time I remember back to a previous point in my life, I have floods of memories of things I enjoyed.  I have certainly not always actually been happy, but in my memory, I have.

Mr Biswas again: "All his life had been good until now.  And he had never known.  He had spoiled it all by worry and fear."

Let's live life now.

Friday, September 23, 2011

To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world. I told you that.

"I no longer want to be anything except what who I am. Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world  affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come... I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world."
Salman Rushdie, via Saleem Sinai, Midnight's Children.

Yesterday morning I didn't go to my Brit Lit class because I hadn't finished this masterpiece of a contemporary novel and I didn't want it ruined by the class discussion.

I'm making the weirdest decisions these days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Study Literature

It teaches me to never be the way some people in the world have been.

It creates another world that I can enter, and whether it be a better, happier world, or a much, much worse world, I come out of it with a different perspective than when I went in. And yes, I really do see it that way—I enter into a book, into the frame of that specific story, when I start reading and I exit when I must—when the world I actually live in requires my attention.

A good story can change my life, but so can a good sentence. And while a movie or a conversation with a friend or a storytelling festival or an audio book can tell a story, only a print copy of a work of literature can give me the satisfaction of reading with my own eyes something that changes me.

I don’t want a Kindle, no matter how easy it makes it to lug around 10,000 books at a time. I like to feel on my back the weight of the book I carry, and I like to feel on my soul the weight of the story that I’m engaging in.

And anyway, I would never want to spend 4 long years of college doing anything besides reading reading reading about the most mind-blowing glimpses into the lives of others, and then making it mean something to me along with a room full of people doing the same thing.