Wednesday, February 03, 2010

But February Made Me Shiver

Well, what do you know? Another snowy pic for you all on the anniversary of when Iowa killed Buddy Holly.

I'll just warn you right now, I've had the night to myself and I spent it reading and listening to music, so I'm going to be annoyingly reflective and introspective. Sorry. I finally finished reading the book, Reading Lolita in Tehran. If you haven't read it, it's about a private class a woman teaches in the 80's and 90's in Iran. Each chapter is the study of a different author and how the women in the class use literature to cope with life under such a sexist and oppressive government.

I loved the book, but it was also hard for me to read sometimes. It took me straight back to high school. As I've said before, I'm a runner and hider. When I was in high school and my life was so horrible, I created an extensive inner-world, full of books and music. It was the only place I could go to escape all the oppression of my home life. I feel like books saved my life at that time, or at least my sanity...Well, what there was to save, anyway. The women in the novel needed that parallel universe of literature to give them hope of a world that wasn't so stifling. As the narrator says, "A novel is not an allegory....It is the sensual experience of another world."

When I was under 18 and had no control over my real life, my internal world helped me to cope with my situation. Of course, the same thing that helped me when I was younger, hurt me as an adult. When I was in an abusive marriage, I found myself reverting back to my old habits of running and hiding into my inner-life. It was a victim's response where I was sleepwalking through a bad situation, instead of fixing it. Because of my girls, I snapped out of that and fixed the situation by leaving. Now, I still go to that world, but it's not because I'm afraid to face my life anymore. It's more like a vacation, where I'm always glad I visited, but I'm even happier to get home. One of my favorite quotes from the book on the Gatsby chapter says: "His reveries for a while 'provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on fairy's wings'"

I'm starting to reread Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises next. It should be the perfect follow-up to this, since the last time I read it I was in high school. It will be interesting to see what different things I focus on when I read it this time.


MrManuel said...

That sounds like an amazing back and better yet, so cool that you are able to relate to a book on so many levels. I have never been able to do that.

rel said...

"the rock of the world was founded securely on fairy's wings'"
I'm a believer in that!

AlienCG said...

During the past few months, since November that is, I have found refuge in music and writing. I will turn on iTunes to shuffle and write for hours on end. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

SkylersDad said...

Thanks for sharing, take care of yourself.

NoRegrets said...

I'm glad you are introspective and now able to go in and out of that world. And what a wonderful quote! I read that book a few years ago, and didn't catch that one.

booda baby said...

It's a nice moment, when the inner world turns from being an escape into a laboratory. And because sometimes, that word v. likes to agree with me, it actually did today: cascess

Tara said...

I need to get back on track with reading. I mean I read blogs, but I need to sit down on my couch and settle into a book.

Mnmom said...

What's the tshirt say? "It's my own little world, but that's ok, they know me there"

laura b. said...

I always say books are my drug of choice. All my life I've used them to escape and I still do. Even when my own life is very, very good, I still like to get out of it sometimes.

Ananda girl said...

I love reading and have not had much time for it of late... much to my sorrow. And music reflects what I feel in my choices. Both have given me support and escape while opening my mind and my world.

Churlita said...

MrManuel, What? Not even with a comic book? Ha ha.

Rel, Fitzgerald said it all right there, didn't he?

AlienCG, I'm glad you found that outlet. it's nice, isn't it?

Skyler's, I always do. Thanks.

Nor, It's nice to have that inner life but not always need it just to function.

Booda Baby, You put that very well. Love the word verification too.

tara, I know. I was like that for a while too, but it's nice to have both to read.

MnMom, I need to get me one of those t-shirts.

LauraB., Exactly. No matter how nice your life is, books can help you live all different kinds of lives at the same time all without leaving your home.

Ananda, Yes, but you have a lot more active social life too. I'd probably happily sacrifice a little reading time to actually go on a real live date too.