Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fig #7

I have poured over my list several times these past few days, and I can come up with a good reason (or two) for not doing any of the items listed. I am still suffering from this cold, and while the symptoms are gradually going away - the coughing, stuffy head, sore throat - I am absolutely fatigued. Exhausted. And I have two kids to chase around the house all day, which means the house is a mess, the kids are filthy and they've escaped the side gate more than once. I think the neighbors might be wondering if I've taken to straight gin.

Anyway, the only fig I can imagine mustering in my current state is reading Siddhartha. I figure it's short, and I also figure that in my post-European-vacation let-down/depression, I need something to give me perspective and to really compel me to think of anything other Berthillon ice cream and Hemingway. Thus, I'm not reading The Old Man and the Sea.

Siddhartha is a whisper of a book at only 105 pages. Of course, it's usually these books that pack the most punch, so I am hopeful. I can't even tell you why I've always wanted to read it. I have no idea what it's about. I know that my mother and brother both loved it, though, and since we all tend to appreciate the same literature in our family, I have the sense I'll love it too.

My great aunt once sent me her old copy, the one she used as an English teacher. I have tried to read it several times but always failed because I found all of her notes and scribblings in the margins to be a huge distraction. So, I ordered my own copy from Amazon before I left for Paris, and it sits here waiting for me to begin.

I will begin today. I figure it comes on the heels of having just re-read Maugham's The Razor's Edge, and if any of you have read it, you'll know that Larry's journey must in some way mirror Hesse's story - at least I have an inkling in that direction. So, maybe it's the perfect time for my mind to absorb it.


1 comment:

  1. OK--now I'm inspired to read "Siddhartha" again. Just another thing for us to share. And I loved the Paris sunrise story--a lesson on "living in the moment" and taking it all as it comes--SPORADICALLLY!!!xoxo, Mom


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