I awoke this morning to rolls of thunder and rain whispering on pavement. In the dim morning light I lay quietly and listened, let my eyes droop closed a little longer and wrapped the duvet tighter around myself. There's just something about the sound of a spring thunderstorm in the early morning that feels so comforting. It makes for a cozier, quieter kind of day, and after an off-beat kind of week, I need that.
As for my weekly must-reads list, my usual wealth of online inspiration has been sparse this week, and maybe that has contributed to its off-beatness. This is not to say that my regular reads haven't produced good content, but I just haven't connected with anything. Chalk it up to my own distractions - my own writing, my own struggles, and on a positive note, my distraction from the internet by pages of print.
I started reading Great House nearly a month ago and I'm still working through it. Reading Krauss' The History of Love was an entirely different experience than this second novel of hers. I started Great House expecting to experience that same love at first sight, but as I never seem to learn, you can't begin an author's second novel expecting it to be anything like the first.
No, love at first sight was not the case, even remotely. In fact, I left it untouched for over a week out of sheer frustration. On reflection, this is not a result of Krauss' writing; her writing is as impeccable as ever. Rather, it was a personality conflict with one of her characters. And actually, I think we can all agree that dislike for a character can be the sign of truly good writing, because it means that the author has made us care about what is happening to the story.
This only really dawned on me when I forced myself to take it up again and reread this passage from the early pages of the book,
"There are moments when a kind of clarity comes over you, and suddenly you can see through walls to another dimension that you’d forgotten or chosen to ignore in order to continue living with the various illusions that make life, particularly life with other people, possible."
Great House is a collection of loosely connected stories. At this point, I have very little understanding of how they connect with each other, but what I can say is that with each story I find myself more and more aware of those parts of our lives that we live and exist and move around, like furniture, the ones we don't quite understand but can't let go of - memories, habits, heritage. Sometimes we notice these things in other people, and we can't understand why they hold so tightly to them. And when we come to recognize them in ourselves, we have to choose what to do with them.
If you've read this book already and totally disagree with me on this analysis, good. I hope I find more to this story than what I understand of it half way through. Your thoughts are welcome here, just no spoilers, please!
So what are you inspired by this week, online, in print, or otherwise? Have a good weekend, friends.