To be knit up finally

December 16, 2012

Here are some of Marilynne Robinson’s words, from her book Housekeeping, that seem especially good and especially hard this week.

Also, some secret pictures of my roommate doing her morning stretches (I think she is beautiful), and puddles.

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“For why do our thoughts turn to some gesture of a hand, the fall of a sleeve, some corner of a room on a particular anonymous afternoon, even when we are asleep, and even when we are so old that our thoughts have abandoned other business? What are all these fragments for, if not to be knit up finally?”

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“To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow…when do our senses know anything 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 one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again.

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“The force behind the movement of time is a mourning that will not be comforted. That is why the first event is known to have been an expulsion, and the last is hoped to be a reconciliation and return.”

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December 1, 2012

Magic

 

Lately I have been suffering from RookieBrain, which is what happens when I spend too many hours at a time on the Rookie Magazine website (for “research” purposes of course…I’m still working on my Creative Nonfiction piece) and then end up feeling panicked and lonely and weird. There are so many references I don’t recognize and too too too many links (to be fair, Rookie doesn’t actually have a lot of links…I just feel an over-dramatic sense of darkness after clicking on too many [i.e. 1-2] links. I call this more general condition InternetBrain… or “I JUST WANT TO STAY HERE IN THIS ONE PLACE OKAY?”). Also, I constantly wonder how these girls possibly have the energy to do everything they are doing, and why I, made of similar human stuff as them, can’t be more productive. This is a normal frustration, I think, and writing my Creative Nonfiction piece has really helped me feel like I’m not just drowning in my own passivity.

I found another partial remedy to RookieBrain: I’ve been submitting things to them! I have never ever been the type to “stick my neck out” (frankly that just seems like a stupid thing to do physically speaking), but something about sending an informal e-mail to a bunch of nice girls just seems easy. And the best part of submitting isn’t waiting to see if I accepted (I’ve already gotten one rejection from them and it wasn’t that bad!); it’s more the feeling like I am playing a teeny tiny role in this thing I have been immersing myself in for the past few months–this thing that feels so intimidating, and so “other.” It’s kind of like voting…you know your vote doesn’t technically make a difference, but it’s still empowering to participate in what’s going on. Bad analogy? Okay. Anyway, clearly I have lots of THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about this whole Rookie thing, so I am actually thinking about turning it into my Senior Thesis project for next semester.

Unrelatedly (actually, totally related but in ways not worth explaining), I am reading Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping for class right now and it is becoming one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t want to write about it yet because it’s too beautiful and sad (read: heart-cracking) and I am still in the middle of it. But today I got together with two of my friends from class who happen to be art majors (my favorite type of people), and we walked around in the rain talking about things that go with the book in our minds–photographs and songs and poems and letters. It was the best kind of afternoon, because people are infinitely better than the Internet.

 

P.S. The other night/early morning I woke up to the creature below–fully wrapped in the blanket–whispering my name from the doorway…the first of what now has become a series of  bizarre attempts by my roommate to “scare” me. She has enlisted everyone from her boyfriend to our other housemates as accomplices, but has yet to succeed. Pretty pathetic, seeing as I am a wimp.

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Gilead & Lake Geneva

August 29, 2012

“In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don’t imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.” – Gilead

I read Marilynne Robinson’s Home a couple of years ago and loved it…I don’t know why it took me so long to read its prequel, Gilead, but part of me is glad I saved it for now. I was reminded again what writing about God and eternity can be… unapologetic but not defensive, humble but not timid.

Her characters are deeply flawed, but hopeful. Their lives are messy and their faith wavering, but instead of trying to teach us some lesson through their mistakes or doubts, she just lets us watch them, and listen to them, and feel with them. And since to talk about Gilead too much might be to ruin its subtlety, I will just share some of my favorite quotes 🙂

“‘For preservation is a creation, and more, it is a continued creation, and a creation every moment.’ [George Herbert]…Again, all any heart has ever said, and just as the word is said the moment is gone, so there is not even any sort of promise in it.

“‘He will wipe the tears from all faces.’ It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that it is exactly what will be required.”

“This whole town does look like whatever hope becomes after it begins to weary a little, then weary a little more. But hope deferred is still hope. I love this town. I think sometimes of going into the ground here as a last wild gesture of love–I too will smolder away the time until the great and general incandescence.”

P.S. I guess these pictures are the last of my summer… I moved into my new house in LA on Monday, and tennis class starts in 50 minutes 🙂