When did this happen?
There’s a small black spider on my ceiling. It’s been scampering about for the past few hours, skittering its legs in circles as if looking for something. Perhaps this is spider House Hunters I’m watching: he’s seeking out hardwood floored, within budget, kid-friendly back yard real estate on the white ridges of my ceiling. I hope he finds something he likes, although, if you’ve seen House Hunters, you know that they absolutely always find the perfect house within three tries.
In twenty minutes, I must leave my new friend (still deciding on a name. He has yet to comment on the subject) and walk to campus, where I’ll be ushering for Cirque Zuma Zuma, a show that’s been brought in by our student-run Performing Arts Council.
The best part is that for a mere thirty minutes or so of guiding friendly couples to their seats, I get to watch the show for free.
Something I realized at around midnight, whilst writing a paper on Clarissa Dalloway: it’s impossible to write a paper on Clarissa Dalloway, because Virginia Woolf, with all the vaunted idealism of the Bloomsbury Group and all the suspicion of a Victorian, makes it impossible to sum up any of her characters. She herself admits to avoiding doing so, claiming that to say someone “is this way, or that way” is taking upon oneself agency that one doesn’t deserve. Agency that further, cannot possibly be accurate. Who are we to pretend to know another person? Who are authors to pretend to know their characters?
But they created them! You might say.
Yes they did, but to create a realistic being is not to describe them in full, to explore every hidden corner of their (albeit) imagined consciousness. To create a realistic being is to give them a name, perhaps a pat on the shoulder, and then to send them out into the plot . We may learn things about them as they trudge along, we may perceive certain qualities that show themselves by and by, but we absolutely cannot pretend to understand them thoroughly, or even a little bit.
This was the conundrum I faced, holding my trembling thesis by the hand, at midnight. I wrote the paper anyway, and I think it turned out to be convincing, but it made me laugh when, this morning, my mother sent me the following text:
“Hope you hog-tied that Dalloway woman.”
Not even close, Ma.
Finished Mrs. Dalloway. Alas! And now begins my 4-5 page paper on Clarissa.
Short post tonight, because I work from 10-midnight and am scurrying to finish my studying before then.
Great libraries I’ve been to:
It’s a short list, but these great libraries have inspired me to begin my planning for my own future home library. A globe will be involved, and thick carpet, and leather chairs, and green shaded lamps, and likely no official organization system.
If my life were built from quotes, if the only truth I could say or read or think had to come from someone else’s writing, I’d choose Virginia Woolf.
“But the charm was overwhelming, to her at least, so that she could remember standing in her bedroom at the top of the house holding the hot-water can in her hands and saying aloud, “She is beneath this roof … She is beneath this roof!”
Yes, I’m obsessed. But there are worse addictions to have.
I wish I could do this. But if I can’t, I am sure as anything glad that there are people in the world who can.
One of my housemates drank the home-brewed beer that my friend Andy gave me for my birthday. It was a nondescript bottle, labeled with Sharpie, waiting between the milk and the ketchup for the special occasion I had been saving it for. Not a specific special occasion, but perhaps a Friday night when I had my wool socks on and my friends around me.
Apparently, someone else had a greater need than I. I’m resisting the urge to leave a passive aggressive sticky note, as I know it wouldn’t be becoming for a twenty-two year old to pout, or to throw a tantrum on the linoleum.
So I’m in my room, taking small bites out of The Faerie Queen and scowling at Sunday night and all it implies.
And watching Slam, of course.
True to form, we lost our homecoming football game. 24-49. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but that’s how it usually goes at UMM. We’re smart people, we’re ambitious people, we’re liberal people, but we’re not necessarily athletic people.
It was a cold day to be sitting on metal bleachers, but thrilling to see the bright maroon and gold against the turf, and to eat walking tacos and caramel corn served by Chemistry Club and Student DFL and InterVarsity.