I was reading James Wood’s review of “Censoring an Iranian Love Story” in the New Yorker yesterday and the whole topic resonated with me. The premise of the review, and of the book in part, reminded me of when I used to be a good writer. I mean, there was a time I could really write. Woods challenges us:
Coming up with anything to write about can be difficult when you are allowed to write about anything. A day in which the most arduous choice has been between “grande” and “tall” does not conduce to literary strenuousness. And what do we know about life? Our grand tour was only through the gently borderless continent of Google. Nothing constrains us. Perhaps we look enviously at those who have the misfortune to live in countries where literature is taken seriously enough to be censored, and writers venerated with imprisonment. What if writing were made a bit more exigent for us? What if we had less of everything? It might make our literary culture more “serious,” certainly more creatively ingenious. Instead of drowning in choice, we would have to be inventive around our thirst.
I mean, when I think about it, all of my favorite novels in some respect embrace the thirst… that unrequited or undiscovered “whatever” that is grazing fingertips but decidedly out of reach. It’s that kind of edited existence that leads to inspiration, wonder, and creativity. It’s funny because I think a lot of people strive to have everything, but the people I know who have it (the jobs, the money, the house, the car, the significant other, etc.) always fall just short of catharsis. There is no beauty without struggle and no struggle without beauty… so when people are left without it, they are often left off worse than they were when they were striving. Ironic, right? Anyway, obviously there are several layers to this discussion that I don’t have time to get into this morning…
I was however, thinking about that in light of my trip this past weekend. Four days seems like an unreasonable amount of time to forge an kind of breathtaking connection, especially when it’s built on fleeting glances and stolen conversations (especially when they are at 6am after absolutely no sleep)… however, the very nature of that situation creates that thirst. Eye contact with a spark and a thirst to know more . . . only to denied (or delayed) by distance. A much needed experience.*
Mini-rant, I know… I was just excited to read on paper an issue I have been wrestling with in my own mind for some time now…
On to fashion, and speaking of an “edited existence” I thought you’d like Edit’d a cool eco-friendly designer I discovered on Inhabitat. Edit’d reinvents forgotten pieces and in doing so weaves an interesting story into each. The line is fun, whimsical and social responsible! Just like you!
Have you downloaded Warning by Clipse feat Rock City yet? I was totally jamming to it in my car yesterday!
*Obviously, I realize the entire experience I just mentioned was still couched in excess, which is contradictory, and I realize it may be somewhat offensive that in that excess I found a thirst, but . . . at the same time, I’ve worked really hard to get where I am so I offer no apologies, and still embrace the concept.