Thursday, April 29

consumed

"And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards--perhaps all your life, who knows?--surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages..."
- Jean Rhys. 'Till September Petronella.'
it's a collection of short stories with no more interesting a title than Collected Short Stories. and that little snippet from it describes quite a lot of the voracious, disconnected-from-real-life mood I feel like I've been in lately. what a strange human trick this is, pulling out of other people's words all these great but simple connections to the things we happen to be going through now. Jean Rhys lived a life nothing like my life. she lived in the Caribbean, and Paris, and saw all kinds of desperate moments. my life is not like that, my world not like the world of her stories. but still, we find ways to relate.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is not a collection of short stories. not exactly. you might call it a tapestry of short stories. its stories are not short or separate, but they are almost, somehow, distinct enough. sharp and focused and bright, pinned only at the edges to the larger plot of the book, so they feel like they could stand on their own.

but they don't. that's okay.

of course nothing stands on its own. I project my own colors to these narratives. my own soggy memories and half-formed aspirations get plugged into the spaces between those beautiful paragraphs.

but still. it's a lot of take. not much give. it isn't fair, is it? all these hours I put into eating up the creative efforts of all these other people. all these nights I spend wishing I were as prolific, as dedicated. as lucky. but I've started telling myself to quit being jealous and be inspired instead. one of these days it'll really sink in.
"...time passes whether you’re doing something with it or not."
- Felicia Day. 'How I Started Writing.'

2 comments:

Chris said...

Wow. Jean Rhys, Felicia Day, and a book I'll have to read this weekend? You just took several corners of my recent experience, pulled them together and made my brain implode.

amelia said...

it is rather crazy, the tenuous connections I am capable of coming up with. I'm glad they make some sort of sense to somebody.