Sunday, April 4, 2010

anybody miss me?

Yes, I've still been walking the dog, still dutifully working, but also doing some spring sewing (which I'll share sometime soon) and hosting both in-laws and forks in the road.

Also, I had an incredible time reading Olive Kittredge, and I'm so happy that I did.  Is this the time for a post about happpy vs. sad books?  Sure, why not?  Do you have this conversation with your mother:  Why do you always read such sad books?  Why can't anyone write a really happy book?  Let me start with my sweet eight year old's serious eyes tonight when he told me that he felt sad when he thought about how there would never be another today.  I cried.  Not because I was sad (tho I was) but because I was so grateful that he noticed this.  How in the world can you try to squeeze the best out of every day if you don't realize its ephemeral nature?  I saw him understand what it is that makes life so devastating and so beautiful:  We don't get another chance.  And often, as flawed human beings, we forget that.  Or we get distracted.  We think that being right is more important than being happy.  The books that I love (including Olive Kittredge) are the books that shine a light on our mistakes and forgive us for making them.  I want to read books that make me shudder deep in my lungs when I feel like somehow the page is connected to my diaphragm and I must turn the page in order to keep breathing.  This only happens when  a book is honest and let's face it--you cannot be honest without pain.  Honesty can be funny, sweet, beautiful and sad, but by definition it reveals something.  It peels back a layer of artifice and looks at what's underneath.  And what lives underneath isn't required to be SAD, but it's usually not simple.  The misunderstanding lies there.  I don't seek out sad books, Mom.  I don't try to write sad books, strangers.  But I do seek out complicated, messy, unsimple books; books that reassure me (and my eight year old) that just because the day is short and finite, with moments of disappointment and regret, excitement and hope, doesn't make it any less lovely.

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