Thursday, March 10, 2011

where've you been, Kirsten?

i have, as of today, one book left to read for the two courses i am taking this semester apart from writing my thesis.  I have read 10 books for one class, and 11 books for the other class, two of which were over 500 pages.  I also read 7 journal articles which together are the page-number equivalent of one more book.  Tomorrow, I will read the last one, making a total of 23 books.  I have personal reading notes and critical analyses of each one of these books as a record of my toil.

23 books

Then there are the ~ 25 books I decimated - at least in part - during the second two weeks of January as part of my thesis work (something I've been neglecting shamefully of late).

25 books

My math skills aren't hot, but I think that's 48 books in 8.5 weeks which, according to my iphone, is 5.3 books per week.

48 books in 8.5 weeks
5.3 books per week

(Why does it feel like I read more than that? Maybe it feels like more than 5.3 books per week because reading Paul Ricoeur's Memory, History, Forgetting almost made me lose hope that a day would dawn when I would not be reading this book.  Finishing it, handing in my reading notes and blessed critical analysis - 40 pages of sheer agony - was a moment of catharsis, before which moment I had almost lost belief in my own ability to comprehend the English language.  The day I shut that book for the last time, they should have rung the church bells out in the valley, but no one told them what was happening and so the world spun madly, silently on.)

Oh there must be a point to all this.

yesterday i picked up the third last book from the library: Life Lived Like A Story.  I read for the afternoon.  I stopped and made supper.  I picked up my brother and his gf and we all went to a coffee shop.  I opened the book and  had an almost visceral reaction.  I think my body was rejecting the book.  it would not read it.  It just said, "No!" and tried to walk out the door before I ran and tackled it to the ground and wrestled it back into the chair.  Mind over matter.  Or will over mind and matter.

Continuing our journey back in time: the day before yesterday, I think I experienced eye strain for the first time in my life.  The small muscles all around my eyes started to hurt.  I couldn't focus them properly or find anything to look at where they didn't feel tired.  I spent most of the evening talking to Esther with my eyes closed while simultaneously imagining what my life would be like if I went blind.  In absence of other, sight-based, options, I decided I would be a modern day Milton.  I'd have two daughters and attempt to keep them from living their own lives so that they could transcribe my words by candlelight while I dictated the twenty-first century equivalent of Paradise Lost, or something of the sort.  Sounds fair, right?  Young life sacrificed nobly for the arts?


Terra said...

thanks for the update k! miss you! when you get a chance i would love to hear an update on your thesis and next steps for you after this academic year rolls to a close. mwah!

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