I have been feeling so incredibly overwhelmed and distressed by reality lately, my own as well as that of the world at large. Nothing fits, nothing makes sense, so many things upset me profoundly.
And into my mind popped this quote:
“Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute – the foundation of the human condition – and should be better.” ~ Mario Vargas Llosa, “The Nobel Lecture”
I have lived all of my life reading (or being read to, or reading to others). I have also lived almost all of my life immersed more deeply in the world and its pain and strife and suffering and conflict than the average person I encounter. It’s just one of those things. I always fought for the underprivileged and disregarded, for those without voices, anywhere I could throw my energy I threw it. And I did some pretty cool shit.
Lately I have a difficult time interacting with even my closest friends and family, and I try to hide from the news without allowing myself to be completely ignorant.
Also, lately I have struggled and fought and been tested and tried to figure out every which way why I have such difficulties with reading (still working on it). I was your classic book every day or two gal. But now I can’t seem to run to the soothing, familiar embraces of Kerouac and Dickens and Austen and Thompson and Wharton and Vonnegut and Homer and Garcia Marquez and the endless list of the comforts of my best friends.
I can’t live in their world, so I am forced to live pretty constantly in my own. I wonder if that’s something that makes the mass of humanity so unhappy, not having a proper escape from reality, not realizing that “. . . life does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute. . .”
I guess that’s something we all have to assess on our own, but I know for me that the days during which I am able to dive into literature and find something else, something more – even for a very short time – are better than they days that I am not.
Moral of the story: Don’t look at outside events for continuous inner turmoil. You are the only place a solution can ultimately be found.
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