Friday, July 15, 2011

8/365 The Small Rain

Blah, blah, I'm mad for Madeline L'Engle right now.

Liked this very much.  What a first novel! (Not that I know what first novels ought to be or are like, but I feel very grown-up and idiotic saying that.) Every day I am more and more convinced that I could not, would not want to be a writer.

This story, like all of her's, had a lot to it.  Tons about love.  And it also made me think a bit more about callings and doing what you're supposed to do.   It has also joined the handful of books I've read about artists (musician, in this case) that seemed genuine.  She talked enough about Katherine's playing, but not too much, and it made it believable to me.  I felt like I realized gradually how much it had consumed her - just the way she herself did in the story.  In my limited experience, people haven't realized important things with a bang and a big dramatic confrontation scene - they creep over slowly.
Katherine seemed like a very real person, and I don't often get that feeling.  I found her insight into her own character almost unbelievably perceptive, but more on that later.  I liked her.  Wish I had a good dollop of her forthrightness.

I was thinking about ME ME ME for a while after I was done with the book, about how contradictory I can be.  Believing and not believing at the same time.  I don't believe in mad love - yet I still sort of do.  I believe that thinking moving to a new place can save or fix you is nonsense - yet a part of me still wonders if it can help.  I mean, there has to be something in up and moving to the English countryside if people still do it and say good things about it.  It can't save you or make you whole, but it can still be good for you, right?

This is all very stupid and basic, but I never can take simple things as they are.  I have to get my knickers in a twist over something.  And as my life is quite remarkably happy and conflict-free, I have to fall back on these sorts of things to be angsty about.  Because if I don't have some angst in my formative years, I won't have any chance at being great at something.  I need some Personal Tragedy to fuel my Art.   Everybody really great has something scarring to talk about in interviews - you just look and see.

Anyways.  I also wondered, during my happy evening of narcissism, if people can really understand themselves or their abilities as perfectly as they do in books, without bias at all.  Or, I guess, I wonder if I can.  Sometimes I think I do.  For instance, I don't think I could be a good actress because I don't have enough self-control.  I feel very sure that it's true.  But then a tiny part of me wonders if I tell myself these sorts of things because I'm a coward or have low self-esteem.  I've never really tried acting, so how can I know?  But on the other hand, how could I not know?   How could I not know myself well enough to answer a question like that?

Ho-hum.  Enough ME ME ME talk for tonight.  I'm tired.  I wonder when deep insights about the books I'm reading will... um... show up.  I'm trying to wait patiently.

CONCLUSION:  Good.  I will read A Severed Wasp.  Oh, let's face it - I'll probably read everything of L'Engle's.  I will try not to worry that I don't have one particular thing that consumes me (like piano or acting or taking pictures), and be happy with being a jack of all trades and master of none.   I will tell myself once a day, "Kelsey, darling, you may not be brilliant but you are great to have at parties and know how to lay tile."

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