Eyeball that bit of wisdom. Read it again. One more time to be sure. Okay then. Maybe you recognize some of that in yourself, I know I do.
An infernally astute quote from John’s debut novel, Looking for Alaska. “Infernal” because it illustrates a sort of personal hell I should be scrambling to escape. A loop whose deeply rutted trail I’m vaguely aware of at the best of times and crystal sharp at the worst of times.
Which is f**king tedious? I mean if I could be aware of all the tomorrows I tell myself I have and not take them for granted, I’ll get my goals accomplished, every day I would be compelled to complete them.
But like the blessed idiot that I am, I do stupid sh*t anyway. And I could analyze to kingdom come about the lies I convince myself are truths, their roots lay in self-doubt and lack of self-compassion. I’ve thought out of the whys and have finally sifted and understood what some of my actual truths are. Three years ago this introspection would’ve been beyond me but I feel lighter at the thought that I’ve come so far that I can see how I could fortify wobbly foundations and continue to build my person. Growth is always the goal.
But essentially the labyrinth is a fantastic illusion that could make us or dismantle us and perhaps it can only work out if we realize that within it we can make new paths. That we can take a chainsaw to some of the dead ends, and plant new saplings.
The past is a ghost. The future a phantom horizon. The present? It’s where we live. It’s not always pleasant but it’s where our hearts beat, the precipice of the next moment. Isn’t it awful how we conjure those ghosts and let them possess us? How we often try to dream out the possible futures thereby plugging up the goodness that the present can offer?
I read Looking for Alaska about two years ago, stayed up until morning to finish it only to have a feeling of mental suspension and an excellent view of the void. Alaska was a bitch, sure, but to be fair she was a kid who had a lot going on under the surface.
The following is a snip from a short story I’m working on right now. I love it when kids are like best friends with their parents, usually I find that those cross out the unnecessary drama that depict cliched relationships. What do you think?
I slouched on the bean bag, my dress in a mess. I never slouch. I’m the chick that preaches “thou shalt not slouch” and I’m in a state where I don’t give two ducks, or geese which are actually more nasty.
“Look dad, this is going to sound all poetic and dangerously cheesy but here it is: when love is the religion, trust is king and truth is queen – or whatever – and together they make it work. You do want it to work, don’t you?”
He looked up at the ceiling, lips pursed. Then he smirked, looking a bit evil with eyes red and puffy from crying.
Have you ever felt that a certain book could have been written just for you? After Dark is mine. Possessive, I know, that’s how it feels but then since when has a book never been personal? It’s a quiet and observant work of art, one that just states it purpose in an understated inflection that belies its significance, its message to us.
This is my first Haruki Murakami and I have fallen in love. I’ve tried so much, struggled to express into words the soft-but-firm clinging strings of the spell that the night has cast upon me. So far, I haven’t found a short version, After Dark is the long one, and it’s come close.
Commuter trains of many colours move in all directions, transporting people from place to place. Each of those under transport is a human being with a different face and mind, and at the same time each is a nameless part of the collective entity. Each is simultaneously a part of a self-contained whole and a mere part. Handling this dualism of theirs skillfully and advantageously, they perform their morning rituals with deftness and precision: brushing teeth, shaving, tying neckties, applying lipstick. – page 241, 6:50 AM
This fact of being an individual entity and a part of an ever morphing jigsaw puzzle of existence simultaneously, has always been on the fringes of my awareness and reading this it fills me with some contentment, now that I’ve finally seen it put in a coherent arrangement of words.
Mari has made her way through the long hours of darkness, traded many words with the night people she encountered there, and come back to where she belongs. – page 243, 6:52 AMRead More »
I’ve been eying this one up for a good time too. The title alone caught my attention since I’m a night animal myself. I’m at page 181 of 244, I’m not sure what to say and I mean that in a good way. I could probably gather my thoughts properly if I wrote after reading it but I’m trying to do like an in-between kind of thing.
At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her. Read More »