I'm about a third of the way through Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. I've reached a point where just about every page has a line worth jotting down or at least carrying with you if only for the day. It is "the fillet" of the book if the character Bernard Berkman from The Squid And The Whale were describing it. Here are a few of the lines that made me pause, and repeat and move on again:
"The beautiful girl didn't know the time, she was in a hurry, she said, "Good luck," I smiled, she hurried off, her skirt catching the air as she ran, sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all of the lives I am not living." (p. 113)
" "Thomas, please meet my friend Simon Goldberg." I said hello, I didn't know who he was or why I was being introduced to him, I wanted to find Anna, Mr. Goldberg asked me what I did, his voice was handsome and broken, like a cobblestone street, I told him, "I don't do anything," he laughed, "Don't be so modest," Anna's father said. "I want to be a sculptor." Mr. Goldberg took off his glasses, untucked his shirt from his pants, and cleaned his lenses with his shirttail. "You want to be a sculptor?" I said, "I am trying to be a sculptor." He put his glasses back on his face, pulling the wire earpieces behind his ears, and said, "In your case, trying is being." "What do you do?" I asked, in a voice more challenging than I'd wanted. He said, "I don't do anything anymore." Anna's father told him, "Don't be so modest," although he didn't laugh this time, and he told me, "Simon is one of the great minds of our age." "I'm trying," Mr. Goldberg said to me, as if only the two of us existed. "Trying what?" I asked, in a voice more concerned than I'd wanted, he took off his glasses again, "Trying to be." " (p. 126)
The last excerpt brings me to a quote I read this morning by Paul Theroux, "You can't want to be a writer, you have to be one."
It looks like the theme of the day is being. Being in the now, experiencing the present. My mind swims back and forth, past and future. It's exhausting. The only respite is sitting quietly to meditate. My goal this week is to allow myself to indulge in sitting three separate days. More than anything it's resful if I can make the dialogue inside stop. I reassure myself that it's ok to stop, nothing is at risk. If I am so devoted to the chatter, do not fear. It will start again as soon as I stand up straight.