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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today's quote isn't literary or high-brow at all. But, it's true. And this week, as I struggle to complete two figs: reading Siddhartha and purging my closet, it seems like just the quote to push me into another week.

On to the quote:

The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie.

Ann Landers

Along this vein, I have to say that I feel a bit as if I'm being pelted to death with figs. I mean, there has to be a happy balance between not being able to chose anything and feeling overwhelmed by the weekly schedule I've set for myself.

Sigh. Am I just being lazy?

With regard to Siddhartha: I love it. I'm on to the second part, and this is where I feel we're digging deep and getting into the meat of the story. BUT, this is not a late-night, before-bed, on-the-verge of sleep book. This is a book that requires attention. This is a book for sitting up, pen in hand, underlining compelling sentences, paragraphs, thoughts. This is a book you have to set down after only a few pages, because you have to digest it and think about it and read it again, and again, so that you feel you've built up the necessary layers to move forward.

It's either that, or I think you miss the point. And I have an inkling that Hesse does indeed have a point.

With regard to my closet: I am having this slight hang-up. I have purged a good portion of the closet. Today in fact I went through for a third visit, and I got rid of two black skirts I haven't worn in years but that fit me and look fine and blah, blah, blah. I mean, there's a reason I haven't worn them, right? Right. One makes me look like a giant black bell (think A-line), and the other is made of dodgy synthetic fabric that looks cheap no matter how cute it is.

Alas, I already feel better having tossed them.

Okay, here's the hang up - the Chinese section of my wardrobe. The part of my closet that represents my time in China, my Peace Corps years. For some reason, I feel that if I throw out all the dresses (many of which I had made while I was in China), I will somehow be tossing out the experience itself. I'm not sure why I feel this way, because intellectually I know it's silly. But emotionally, it feels like saying goodbye - forever, to an old friend.

Alas, I have an idea. I will cut them up and commission a quilt. Yes, a patchwork quilt, made up of all those dresses and shirts and skirts and jackets. I'll cut up the purses I had made, which I never use because they look silly. I'll cut up the gold and blue Mandarin style jacket that was a gift from Madame Zhou that makes me look like I just stepped out of a Chinese episode of Dynasty. I'll have to post a pic of that gem later, when the official purge is done.

Oh, I love it. I love it. Why do I need to write about it to figure it out? Why do the ideas come from my hands, at the keyboard, instead of through my heart and up to my mind?

Okay, well that's a little bit dramatic. Just a smidge.

I now need to research quilt making. I wonder how much this will cost.............


1 comment:

  1. I DO think you should keep the chinese clothes--and maybe some pics of you wearing them. Thora had a chi pao (sp?) and I always wished she'd given it to me. As a little girl I would look at it and dream of someday being big and glamorous enough to wear it. Mom


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