28 April 2012

There are things I should be doing right now. Chief among them is writing my thesis, but I am overwhelmed with emotion and so instead have turned to the creative world.

I’ve picked up the letters Steinbeck wrote to his publisher while writing East of Eden. His aim in the letters is similar to mine here—to document the anxieties & joys of writing.

There’s something soothing in identifying so much with one of your literary icons in the process of writing


I’m afraid and anxious. Constantly.

Mostly I’m afraid of myself. Berberova’s Cape of Storms resonates so much with me because I feel in myself so much of all three sisters and don’t know how to solder them together— and I’m afraid of each of them separately.
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This is your becoming

“And for your entire life you will be doing, on some level, the opposite of not only what you are doing but of what you think you are. That is just going to go on. And what you need to do is to honor that. To understand it. To unearth it. To listen to this other voice. You have, which is a rare thing, the ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself. To at least give it the floor. Because it is the key, not only to consciousness, but to real growth. To accept duality is to earn identity, and identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is not just “who you are,” it is a process that you must be active in. And it’s not parroting your parents or even the thoughts of your learned teachers, it is, now more than ever, about understanding yourself so you can become yourself.”
— Joss Whedon

I’m a big fan of Mad Men. The show is certainly not for everyone. It’s not very plot driven, there’s not a lot, seemingly, that happens. If you want to enjoy the show and get a lot out of it, you have to watch closely and pay a lot of attention to the characters and their own subtexts. This show is pretty much entirely character and psychology driven, which is why I find it most fascinating. A lot of the buzz around the internet as the series draws near to its close is how it seems to be, at its heart, a show about whether or not people can really change.

I hadn’t really thought about that specifically until the beginning of this seventh season, and at first it made me uncomfortable. Of course people can change! Of course people can grow!

But as the first part of season unfolded and I thought about it more in the context of the show and my own life, I understand more that change and growth are not necessarily the same thing.

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