Friday, February 05, 2010

Thoughts in the Snow

The other night there was a heat wave and the temperature got up around freezing, prompting me to take a walk. The snow was falling and as the streetlights shone through it the flakes seemed to regiment themselves into glittering, sparkling armies or armadas of alien ships coming to earth. When I looked at the ground it glimmered too and it looked for all the world like an early computer-generated special effect, as from a bad '80s movie.

As I went I thought of a walk I took early in the fall, in the company of one with whom I was foolishly infatuated. We found a park off the main drag that I was sure had never existed before and that I am sure has never existed since. Certainly I have never found it again. In the foolish daylight hours I attribute this merely to my lack of navigational skills.

We lay down on a flat star-shaped slab, a dried-up fountain, and we looked at the stars and the encroaching clouds and found symbolism in the environment all around us. There were stars in our eyes, glimmering and false. After a while we got cold and went home.

Overall, we acted foolishly and later we would suffer the consequences.

And as I walked the other night I thought that if the Faerie Park reappeared I would go back to that star, that dry fountain, alone, and think about all I had lost. But I can never seem to sustain such cynicism these days. What did I actually lose? I thought. A foolish, flaring feeling, as much akin to sickness as to joy; a thing comparable to real love only as the wailing of the wind is comparable to human song.

Recently a dear friend told me that during that time she felt as though I were being taken away from her. I don't know how much hyperbole was in this statement (she is given, a bit, to hyperbole), but no matter how hyperbolic it was it still left me feeling tearful, a bit, and wanting to tell her that there was no way, ever, I would be taken away; at least not like that. But I couldn't. For how am I to know the future? How can I say what will end up happening? All I could honestly have said was that I never want that to happen; and that seemed like cold comfort.

But in a way, I suppose, I could have said that it would never happen. For the heart is not rational, and it is not a moralistic thing; neither is it physical or limited by distance. If it were any of those, beauty could never exist and love could never occur. Perhaps if I marry my heart will all be kept in one place; but for now it is fragmented. It is with my family, it is with those friends who have become like family. And oh, how it hurts sometimes; and oh, how I would have it no other way.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Reading Goals

Because yes, on top of being a college student I need to set other goals for myself for things like casual reading, something for which everyone knows college students NEVER EVER HAVE TIME.

I'm not doing the 100-book challenge again, because as I have alluded to before while it was great fun it did push me toward reading shorter books. But Mr. Gee gave me a different almost-challenge which I have decided to accept: to read no books this year under 500 pages long. Except there are a few exceptions to my acceptance.

1. School books, of course. Many of my classes this semester have disappointingly small textbooks.

2. I do intend to read through Scott Fitzgerald's major works this year. That seems like a fine goal in and of itself.

3. I reserve the right to read short works when I feel like it. One needs a short book after a certain number of large tomes.

4. Also, there are a few series that I want to read/finish, not all of which contain 500-page volumes. However, they all have a combined length of 500 pages, so I will read them together and count them as one.

The end.