Past/Present/Future Imperfect

11 Nov

Does anyone else find this picture terrifying?

Not in the sense of “OMG, ALIEN CHILDREN CONVERGING UPON US, RUUUUUUN!!!!” But in a generally creepy kind of way? Maybe it’s just my public school upbringing, but for whatever reason, lots of people dressed EXACTLY the same always kind of wigs me out.

Or maybe I have a phobia of track suits.

*****

Earlier tonight I got distracted by Steinbeck. I read East of Eden last summer over the course of about a month. I would walk to a park near my apartment almost daily, drinking in the prose of a long dead, much celebrated author. I lounged on the cool grass or in the shade of the few trees, reflecting upon an earlier time in my life. I had to read Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath during High School, and quite honestly, didn’t care for either. I think it was an effect of High School; some sort of disorder begotten upon all high school students that entails that you must hate, or at the very least, mildly despise whatever you’re required to read for a grade.

All of this is to say I adored and continue to adore East of Eden. I revisit sections randomly when sitting bored in my apartment. It’s affecting like few other books (for me, at least) are. It’s an epic in the true sense of the word, that takes true persistence to get through, but is completely worth the time.

It’s also the kind of book that makes me want to simultaneously quit writing and also to continue to try and unseat Steinbeck as the great American author.

*****

Today on the radio I heard my favorite poet on Talk of the Nation. I ate lunch in a parking lot in my car with my windows rolled down, for the first time since the early fall. Billy Collins is my favorite poet. This paragraph perhaps suggests that I am a rabid consumer of poetry.

I’m not.

To me, Collins just is the best. Both because his actual poetry is affecting and actually good, and due to the fact that his attitude about poetry is about what it should be; one of admiration, but not of obsession or complete devotion.

In other words: poetry is great, but there are other pretty great things too. Get. Over. Your. Self.

Collins’ writing is the other (from Steinbeck) that I can get utterly lost within. I may be just a weird fangirl, but it’s true, and that’s just fine.

*****

I started this post a long time ago, as in May. This last section is the only part I’ve added. The picture is a bit random, but whatever. It still creeps me out.

I think it’s fitting to post this, as apparently I was caught up in the writing of others at the time, but not too focused on my own. I’m trying hard to change that, starting right now. This space will see a lot more attention, and collect way less dust. I promise.

Stick around. Let’s laugh together for a while and talk about our favorite books and drink too much coffee. There are worse ways to live, right?

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