Wednesday, December 31, 2008

no right angles

"As for minute joys: as I was saying: Do you realize the illicit sensuous delight I get from picking my nose? I always have, ever since I was a child. There are so many subtle variations of sensation. A delicate, pointed-nail fifth finger can catch under dry scabs and flakes of mucous in the nostril and draw them out to be looked at, crumbled between fingers, and flicked to the floor in minute crusts. Or a heavier, determined forefinger can reach up and smear down-and-out the soft, resilient, elastic freenish-yellow smallish blobs of mucous, roll them round and jellylike between thumb and forefinger, and spread them on the under surface of a desk or chair where they will harden into organic crusts. How many desks and chair have I thus secretively befouled since childhood? Or sometimes there will be blood mingled with the mucous: in dry brown scabs, or bright sudden wet red on the finger that scraped too rudely the nasal membranes. God, what a sexual satisfaction! It is absorbing to look with sudden eyes on the old worn habits: to see a sudden luxurious and pestilential 'snot-green sea,' and shiver with the shock of recognition."

This is one of my favorite paragraphs in the English language. I'm not sure what that really says about me, but I think it's beautifully written. It comes from Sylvia Plath's journals. I read a lot of Plath when I was in high school. I think that's a good time in one's life to read her. Then maybe again in middle age. She just made a lot of sense to me at that time in my life. Her mind is understandable and her depression is crippling, but beautifully written.

I don't know. I'm not much for writing. Not really. Sometimes I have thoughts that I want to write, but they come out scattered and un-pretty. I think that's why I enjoy reading so much. Why I tend to prefer listening instead of talking, about things and ideas that are important. I just like to absorb the genius of others and hope that maybe one day it will rub off on me.

I've been seeing a lot of movies lately. That's all there really is to do around these parts. It's either shopping, drinking, or seeing movies. I think the last is at least the least mind-numbing (depending on the film). So far they've all turned out well.

My mother, aunt, and I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Christmas. It was beautiful, and just like all the advertisements say, like nothing I had ever seen on screen. It was captivating and it made me think about life, death, aging, and the meaning of our time on earth. More on that later.

My relatives from KC came down for our annual family Christmas extravaganzaa, and we saw Marley and Me as a family. It didn't make me ask questions and it wasn't anything intellectual, but it was cute and made me cry. I've become a real sucker for those sappy, incredibly obvious movie plots. I can't help it.

Then on Monday, I met up with Jewell friends (hooray!) for Chipotle and a movie. We saw The Reader. I really enjoyed it. It was really kind of depressing and everyone in the story was broken, but it was good nonetheless. I know that I liked it, but I can't put my finger on why. For some reason, the story didn't pull me in completely, so I'm not sure exactly what it made me feel. Maybe I felt nothing, and I just enjoyed watching it. Don't know.

Death, life, aging, legacies. These words have been around me quite a bit. After Benjamin Button, family was around talking about the past, telling stories (of which I had one to contribute-later*), being lively. My sister's family is fresh and new with a big future. In my life, I feel like I'm getting ready to leap off a pedestal into the unknown: adulthood. Then on NPR today, Talk of the Nation had a segment about the people who died in 2008 who left behind some kind of legacy.

I know that it's selfish but I want to make sure that I leave something behind. I kind of think it's human nature to want to be remembered. It makes you feel immortal in a way. That's good and bad in different ways. I don't know. I find that's my answer more and more these days, I don't know.

What I do know is that it's New Year's Eve! I'm excited and terrified about what 2009 has in store for me. It's going to be an adventure! That's going to be my new outlook. I guess that's kind of a resolution, along with reading more for pleasure. Bring it on.

*My story is this: on the 4th of July, my uncle gave me this HUGE bundle thing of fireworks to set off. I was at Morgan's house for the celebration and it was obvious that this display was going to be too large to set off around other houses, etc. So, we decided to relocate to the Quad. We set of this huge thing, and after the first explosion, we ran for it, back to Morgan's. It was spectacular. My uncle couldn't believe that we did this, but after I told him, he remarked that I really must be his niece, which makes me feel like I really do belong in my family.

No comments: