Yesterday I finished an entire book in one day. I woke to the sound of rain on a skylight and used it as the meter for speed at which to push through the pages.
After struggling through Moby Dick, a 583 page ‘thriller’, for the entire summer, it was an absolute luxury to experience a page turner so compelling that my fingers and thumb never had a chance to cramp up.
The Bell Jar, a relatively contemporary classic, had elements in it that felt familiar without my feeling like it was novel intended for ‘someone like me’.
Autobiographical in nature, The Bell Jar echoes the struggles that Sylvia Plath endured in the ‘formative years’ of her adult life.
I related most, at this point in my own life, to the scene where she has moved home with her mother and finds herself listing all the different activities/paths she could busy herself with that summer. From language acquisition to poetry to pre-writing her thesis – her inability to pick a focus/passion that will enable a sense of stability and forward-direction is certainly paralleled in my own currently engaged existential crisis.
Luckily, though, my desire for life is significantly greater than hers. There was something incredibly propelling about relating so strongly to someone in the preclude to and even in the midst of a mental breakdown… but feeling so distant from her in her treatment phase.
I’ve said/wrote/thought this so many times before so who knows how valid it is, but I feel energized with a bit more vision in the tunnel of life choices.
I’m shadowed and lighted by others but on my own on this path and I will finish it.