Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Schadenfreude and Other Thoughts

I recently began reading, albeit reluctantly, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. 

I say reluctantly because I've had this book for seven years, long ago borrowed from a coworker and not only was it never read, obviously never returned.  It's a weird thing to feel guilty over all these years later but nevertheless I do.  Wherever you are, I'm sorry! Over the years I've sworn to myself countless times I would read and love it, only to riffle cursorily through the first few pages and throw it away in disgust. Wow!  Pie in my face - she is absolutely amazing.  I'm beyond entranced with her everyday voice which is delightfully both murky and practical as she tackles the concepts that intrigue her.  Unsurprisingly, they're not so different from my own.  Questions of existence and correlation between oneself and others.  A universal theme to be sure but executed without the irritation her poems typically elicit.  This love/hate sensation makes perfect sense when I discover that she is a Scorpio... but of course I would experience twinges of schadenfreude [Am I so sadistic?]and feelings of both dread and synchronicity.  It's not quite so depraved as all that, more of a lighthearted gladness that her cognitive footsteps mirror my own.

With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting.  This second is life.  And when it is gone it is dead.  But you can't start over with each new second.  You have to judge by what is dead.  It's like quicksand...hopeless from the start.  A story, a picture, can renew a sensation a little, but not enough, not enough.  Nothing is real except the present, and already, I feel the weight of centuries smothering me.  Some girl a hundred years ago once lived as I do. And she is dead.  I am the present, but I know I, too, will pass.  The high moment, the burning flash, come and are gone, continuous quicksand.  And I don't want to die.

There are times when a feeling of expectancy comes to me, as if something is there, beneath the surface of my understanding, waiting for me to grasp it. It is the same tantalizing sensation when you almost remember a name, but don't quite reach it.  I can feel it when I think of human beings, of the hints of evolution suggested by the removal of wisdom teeth, the narrowing jaw no longer needed to chew such roughage as it was accustomed to; the gradual disappearance of hair from the human body [but not fast enough for my liking :)]; the adjustment of the human eye to the fine print, the swift, colored motion of the twentieth century.  The feeling comes, vague and nebulous, when I consider the prolonged adolescence of our species; the rites of birth, marriage and death; all the primitive, barbaric ceremonies streamlined to modern times.  Almost, I think, the unreasoning, bestial purity is best.  Oh, something is there, waiting for me.  Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke.  And then I'll laugh.  And then I'll know what life is.

How can you not revel in such passion?  Such a twinning of understanding.. the delicate tightrope we walk between life and knowledge of our own mortality.  The bitter sharp stab of joy in the face of death. 

I don't know what's going on
I am so in deep with you
I don't know what's going on
I am so disturbed by you
No don't say anymore
To me at all
I am so in love with you!

I wonder if Jarvie meant the Sylvia or not?

She's living in the country now yeah.
Oh, she's trying to get better.
Her beauty was her only crime.
Yeah, I remember Sylvia.
So keep believing & do what you do,
I can't help you but I know things are gonna get better.

This is from one of my top TOP albums of all time and is a personal mantra.  Here's to you Sylvia and all those brave souls too intuitive to survive the rigors of this world.

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round' the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all

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