You know how a book just destroys you sometimes? And you're left weak and dazed and emotionally drained afterward, unable to do anything because what's the point? That just happened. I will add this book to the list of other mōd-shattering books, like Andre Aciman's Call Me By Your Name and Sylvia Brownrigg's Pages For You and The Metaphysical Touch and, of course, Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body.
Today, I read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. It's one of those books whose characters are so real that you want to know what happens to them after you turn the last page, and you're like "Wait, that's it? But I need to know more."
This was my favorite part:
“Everything,” his father said, “comes down to time in the end – to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn’t it all based on minutes going by? Isn’t happiness expecting something time is going to bring you? Isn’t sadness wishing time back again? Even big things – even mourning a death: aren’t you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos – ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? Long-ago people smiling, a child who would be an old lady now, a cat that died, a flowering plant that’s long since withered away and the pot itself broken or misplaced... Isn’t it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, or undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.” page 265
And also this:
"See," said Beck, "what it was, I guess: it was the grayness; grayness of things; a half-right-and-half-wrongness of things. Everything tangled, mingled, not perfect any more. I couldn't take that. Your mother could, but not me. Yes, sir, I have to hand it to your mother." page 313
"Eros is an issue of boundaries. He exists because certain boundaries do. In the interval between reach and grasp, between glance and counterglance, between 'I love you' and 'I love you too', the absent presence of desire comes alive. But the boundaries of time and glance and I love you are only aftershocks of the main, inevitable boundary that creates Eros: the boundary of flesh and self between you and me. And it is only, suddenly, at the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, I realise I never can."
-- Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
'Charlotte sat down, and felt refeshed by partaking of some oranges which I had secured - the only ones that had been left; but at every slice which, from politeness, she offered to her neighbours, I felt as though a dagger went through my heart.' - May 4
'My heart bade her a thousand times adieu, but she noticed me not.' - July 8
'The world runs on from on folly to another; and the man who, solely from regard to the opinion of others, and without any wish or necessity of his own, toils after gold, honour, or any other phantom, is no better than a fool.' - July 20
'I am within the charmed atmosphere, and soon find myself at her side.' - July 26
'Call it folly or infatuation, what signifies a name? The thing speaks for itself.' - July 30
'Enough! There are moments, Wilhelm, when I could rise up and shake it all off, and when, if only I know where to go, I could fly from this place.' - July 30
'"We shall see each other again," I exclaimed: "we shall recognise each other under every possible change! I am going," I continued, "going willingly; but, should I say for ever, perhaps I may not keep my word. Adieu, Charlotte; adieu, Albert. We shall meet again."'
'Could you but see me, my dear Charlotte, in the whirl of dissipation, - how my senses are dried up, but my heart is at no time full. I stand, as it were, before the raree-show: I see the little puppets move, and I ask whether it is not an optical illusion. I am amused with these puppets, or, rather, I am myself one of them: but, when I sometimes grasp my neighbour's hand, I feel that it is not natural; and I withdraw mine with a shudder. In the evening I say I will enjoy the next morning's sunrise, and yet I remain in bed: in the day I promise to ramble by moonlight; and I, nevertheless, remain at home. I know not why I rise, nor why I go to sleep.' - January 20
'Say what you will of fortitude, but show me the man who can patiently endure the laughter of fools...' - March 14
To me, it feels like the first quote is the typical Western school of thought that derives from a capitalist, Christian, egocentric context (that's not to say it's necessarily bad, though), whilst the second one seems almost Confucian/Buddhist due to the focus on self-improvement. But that's probably me going too Arts degree on it. What do you think?
"To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing – the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on ones’ hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again."
-- Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
( The list )
I watched Mao's Last Dancer with Mum and Rianna at the cinema today. It was excellent. I gave it ten stars on IMDB. A perfect blend of humour and emotional highs and lows. Good ballet too.
I'm reading Lisa Ray's blog at the moment. If she sounds familiar, it's because she played The Uber Hot Lesbian in I Can't Think Straight and The World Unseen. I've had a bit of a celeb!crush on her, ever since ICTS.
I found out today that she was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a rare, incurable cancer of the bone marrow. The news didn't really hit me, deep down, until I started reading her blog. Pretty morbid of me, right? But her writing is... incredible. So beautiful, and honest, and real. She also has the cutest cat ever. No, srsly. I read blogs for cat pictures.
I'm not sure where this post is going.
I've noticed this phenomenon in which time goes by faster the longer I stay up. It sucks, because I'm still trying to delay tomorrow - the first day of Term Four. This first week wouldn't be so dreadfully bad if it weren't for the Parent Teacher Interview night on Wednesday. I dread checking the online booking system to see how many I've got.
Four hours before I have to get up for work. I should sleep.
The ceiling is probably the last thing most people see.I finished reading Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry. It didn't completely pwn my mind like Written on the Body and The Passion did. There were some really funny bits, though. Such as:
For at least 90% of people that die.
And when you die, the last thing you see is printed in your eye. Like a photo.
Imagine the number of people with ceilings in their eyes.
In one city I visited, the entire population had been wiped out by love three times in a row.
It had started quietly enough, a few guitars in the moonlight, a few love-notes sent under cover of darkness. Then the mayor had fallen for a shop-girl and draped his chain of office over a public toilet. Then every single monk in the monastery was caught masturbating in front of a statue of Hildegard of Bingen. They ignored the call to prayer at five a.m. Indeed they ignored it for so long that the old man hired to ring the bell died of heart failure. He was still pulling at eight o'clock, and so were the monks.
2) I'm reading "Sexing the Cherry" by Jeanette Winterson. So far there has been no sex, or lesbians, or cherries of any sort. The writing is full of her usual philosophical vagueness, fairytale poetics and biblical allusions, which I both love and hate. Happiness is not a potato. + 1 reading skill
3) Straight girls are driving me crazy. Like, completely INSANE. +100000 frustration
4) Mum took up yoga. o.O +100 weirdness to the normal order of things
5) I'm flirting with the idea of applying for a job opening in a Catholic school in the UK. + 50 evidence that I have lost my mind (refer to point number 3).
6) I have decided Neverwinter Nights completely fails as an RPG. Complete fail. +100 fail.
7) I will leave you now with some Jeanette Winterson vagueness:
The Hopi, an Indian tribe, have a language as sophisticated as ours, but no tenses for past, present and future. The division does not exist. What does this say about time?
Matter, that thing the most solid and the well-known, which you are holding in your hands and which makes up your body, is now known to be mostly empty space. Empty space and points of light. What does this say about the reality of the world?
-- Jeanette Winterson
Several unrelated clauses:
The government gave me $1000.
Batman: The Dark Knight was awesome. I can't wait for the next movie.
I have less desire to play WoW now that I've hit 80. This always happens. Damnit.
In the last week I've accomplished two stressful but necessary things: I got a haircut and I went to the dentist. Both failed. (Haircut was not the way I wanted it and I glare at my hair every time I pass a mirror. And I found out I need two fillings.)
I'm going to Thailand in a week.
"People don't vanish."
"Of course they do. She came out of the air and now she's returned to it. Wherever she is I can't go there."
If a simple presence makes the rest of life seem but shadows, then what does absence make?
We will never be together. Sweetheart. I am too brittle, hidden, and snappish, and you are too married. You are altogether too married. For those of us who've never known the state it sails past us like a cruise ship, lamps all on and parties raging, as the water gently or rockily allows you to sweep across it. We wave from our smug or perhaps lonely shores, waiting till the sea-scattered brightness has withdrawn its silvery music, and we're left alone in the dark, on dry land, to carry on with our unfettered midnight explorations.
--Sylvia Brownrigg, Pages For You
"Make no mistake about it. We've done it before and we'll do it again. America will once again rise from the ashes of the Bushes." -- Hillary Clinton
That just cracked me up so hard. The ashes of the Bushes. LOLOL.
Are there any other books I should get while I'm at it? All recommendations are welcome!
"The woman poet must be either a sexless, reclusive eccentric, with nothing to say specifically to women, or a brilliant, tragic, tortured suicide." -- Marilyn Hacker
There's no sense in loving someone you can only wake up to by chance.
They say this city can absorb anyone. It does seem that every nationality is here in some port. There are dreamers and poets and landscape painters with dirty noses and wanderers like me who came here by chance and never left. They are all looking for something, travelling the world and the seven seas but looking for a reason to stay. I'm not looking, I've found what it is I want and I can't have it. If I stayed, I would be staying not out of hope but of fear. Fear of being alone, of being parted from a woman who simply by her presence makes the rest of my life seem shadows."
I felt this book had a very scattered perspective. Almost as if there were several different authors. The editing could have been better in order to eliminate the dry spots. (Begat, begat, begat, etc.... Boooooring.) Solomon's Song.... ??? What the heck was that all about. Also there were several highly unlikely characters. People living 900 Years?? 9 foot tall giants?? I'm dead, wait I'm not?? It's MY baby, no it's MY baby. Moms... wouldn't you know your baby? It is a little disconcerting you must admit. 50/50 then...??? Hmmm... it will be interesting to get a definitive interpretation to the cryptic almost phsycotic babblings at the end. And was it 7 seals.... or 7 sea lions? Anyway... still trying to figure it all out....
*so very amused*
If anybody on my flist is on Goodreads, feel free to add me. :)
P.S. LUCIA! This is not optional for you. You must join Goodreads. :P
So I'm skimming over this article, and my eyes fall upon the line:
"and he survives the amputation of his buttocks to die"
In other news, I totally feel like working on my NaNoWriMo again, except that I have about 3 hours to write this stupid essay so I can't. -.-
In other other news, I have decided to pull myself together and not be emo. I will be like Peter from Heroes. Emo!hair one season, NO MORE EMO!HAIR the next. No more.
How is everyone?
"This man he's had so many conversions on the road to Damascus - climate change, reconciliation - if he's going round the marginal electorates handing out money for roads, he ought to make a contribution to the government of Syria to repave the road to Damascus because he's worn it out."
-- Bob Hawke (Former Prime Minister of Australia) on John Howard (current PM), from this article.
I was supposed to find a book for my Old English book review, or some books for my CMC major essay, or decide on a topic for Semantics... but I ended up walking home in the rain with only two books in my bag: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson. I'm liking Oranges somewhat more than The Powerbook at the moment, although I think latter was better written.
Okay. Annoyance: Dad bought a new laptop from China (despite his having just bought a PC 2 months ago, which I suppose he's going to leave to gather dust now). As soon as I walked in the front door, he demanded that I set it up for him. So I have. And so there is yet another computer in this house using up MY INTERNET ZOMG. That's not the entire annoyance though, oh no. The guy who brought the laptop here is his friend who will be living in our living room for the next two or three weeks. During this time, they will be filling the entire house with cigarette smoke as they happily puff away together. Urgh. Currently another of their friends is over and they are ALL SMOKING in the kitchen. And I can't even open a door because it's cold and raining outside. -.- Fucking n00bs.
On a completely different topic, ever since I discovered [or rather, wickedkiwi (who is awesome), linked me to] The Lolcat Bible, I've had to consciously suppress my urge to type in lolcat. It's like a disease, I tell you.
Last night, I stayed up far too late again and only got 2 hours sleep before school today. I really need to stop doing this on Wednesday nights, because it means I'm only 60% awake [half awake + 10% extra because Sarah Corvus is so hot] for Bionic Woman on Thursdays. I don't think that will be a problem anymore though, because today was the LAST DAY OF MY DEGREE and I haz no moar skoolz. But I kan haz cheezeburgerz?
And now, I have to go to the dentist.
- My Semantics assignment is due: Need to work on that.
- Resident Evil: Extinction comes out. No time to see it.
- Bionic Woman episode 2 airs: No time to watch it.
- Is my last day to work on my Vikings assignment: *STRESS*
- I need to buy another World of Warcraft gamecard.
The world is all wrong when one must forgo hawt womenz for semantics and stress. ALL WRONG. -.-
My friend Jean mentioned reading a bunch of books by an author, Jane Fletcher, in her most recent email to me. I remember Jane Fletcher. I read Lorimal's Chalice, or something a long time ago online and enjoyed it. So I looked her up and apparently she has a whole bunch of books published now. Maybe I'll buy them. If I can find them in the godforsaken Land of No Books that Australia is. Or maybe I'll have to end up ordering them from Amazon, and pay their exorbitant shipping fees. -.- Anyway, I found out on her site that Jane Fletcher's partner of 20 years died last year. Things like that make me so sad. :(
Yesterday I fell asleep at 5:30pm and missed dinner again. I need to stop doing that. I think all the lack of sleep from last week is finally catching up though. *yawn*
I must leave you now. But remember: These silverfish have become adapted to life under concrete.