Monday, August 15, 2011

Emily, Sylvia and Flannery are my people.

"I dwell in possibility…"
Emily Dickinson

"Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it"
Flannery O'Connor

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."
Sylvia Plath

I have lived my entire life selecting my closest acquaintances very carefully. Sure - I have tons of "friends." These are people I chat with on a daily basis, smile and share a few insights... you know - people I am friendly and familiar with.

But the people I let "in" are much, MUCH smaller. I have this theory - it's totally fine to share the details of my life, because they are what they are. I am not ashamed of the choices I have made, the mistakes I have stumbled through, or who I have traveled on this road of life with. Anyone who knows me, knows I will tell you everything, I am simply not afraid of sharing details. It's just the facts. I have nothing to hide. (Nor should YOU. Live out loud, even if for one day. It's really no big deal.)

But what I am not comfortable with is sharing my feelings. How I felt doing, seeing, hearing what I have experienced. Those intimate details are for only the closest of friends, and honestly - there are not that many of them in my life. I am careful who I let completely in. If I trust you with my feelings, or my troubles, or what not - I expect you to handle me with care.

Back to my people.

If I could pick a few people from history that I would probably connect with on the deepest levels, I would have to say there are three people: Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Flannery O'Conner.

Yes, I know - these girls were pretty intense. Very introspective... and that, my friends, is what interests me. When I meet people, I like to find people who are comfortable "going there" and tackling the tough subjects. For instance, I can RARELY find a friend to watch my super intense documentaries because they are "afraid" of "feeling" hard emotions. Heck, if I am not moved - I am bored. Good conversation mixed with even better coffee is a WONDERFUL way to spend the day.

That's how I view reading. The people who wrote those words, this comes from the very core of their souls. Here are a few quotes by my "people" - thoughts I am intrigued by.

Emily Dickinson:

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain."   

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."   
"Bring me the sunset in a cup."   
"The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul--BOOKS."

"Till I loved I never lived."

"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine."   

 "My love for those I love -- not many -- not very many, but don't I love them so?"

Flannery O'Conner:

"Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd."   
"The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention."

"I write to discover what I know."   

"The Catholic novelist in the South will see many distorted images of Christ, but he will certainly feel that a distorted image of Christ is better than no image at all. I think he will feel a good deal more kinship with backwoods prophets and shouting fundamentalists than he will with those politer elements for whom the supernatural is an embarrassment and for whom religion has become a department of sociology or culture or personality development."   
"I come from a family where the only emotion respectable to show is irritation. In some this tendency produces hives, in others literature, in me both."

"Your criticism sounds to me as if you have read too many critical books and are too smart in an artificial, destructive, and very limited way."  ***(I should have said this to my old boss. LOL) ***

Sylvia Plath:

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."   
"Kiss me and you'll know how important I am."   

"Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace."

"If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed."

"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."  ***Amen, sister. Amen. ***

"Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted."   

"Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn."    ** Lord, I feel as if I have said the same thing. ;-) ***

"And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long."

"There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."    

"I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love's not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I'll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time..."   
"Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow."    

"I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same."

"because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air."    

**Ahhh.... what a great group of women!*** 


robby watson said...

Nicole,I truly hope you find a job,which gives you an outlet for your creativity as well as a paycheck soon.Because as much as I enjoy reading your Blog.I find that you left to your own devices give me entirely to much to think Good job!!!

Leanne said...

Wonderful inspiring words...many I've never read before - can you believe it? I can't wait to research more of their powerful words.


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