May 5, 2014 | Comments
I’m still waiting to fall in love with a book. I want to open it and never want to put it down ever again. I want to find myself in it. I want it to drag out the dark from inside of me and then I want it to tell me that it’s okay and to list all the things that are good about me. I want to read it and never look at life and humanity the same way again. And not for an hour, not for day, not for a month, not for a year, but for the rest of my life. I want to be able to read it again and again and each time it will be different but each time it will become even more beautiful than before. I want it to become familiar, so familiar that I could just know the amount of times the word “the” appears on page 86 but every time I quote a line from memory, it will read with a new meaning.
I say I’m waiting to fall in love with a book but I think I’m just waiting to fall in love with a person.
In all seriousness though, I really want a book (an actual book) to grab me. The closest thing I’ve come to one is Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I love that book. I’ve sadly only read it once but I now I feel like I should read it again.
Even now, the mere mention of the name “Lucy” evokes a pang of pain and sympathy (and no, not because of Lucy Stillman even though I do feel pain at the sound of her name but that’s a different kind of pain).
Lucy is an ironic name. “Light,” The first thing you see in a new morning. Hope. Optimism. No, Lucy has no hope and her life is a pessimist’s dream (or rather, nightmare). Her last name says more about her than her first: Snowe. “Cold.” Lifeless. But at the same time snow is white: pure and innocent.
While I wouldn’t say she’s entirely innocent or pure, there’s still something beautifully naive about her. Her isolated nature brings out a sort of awkwardness. She pores herself into her books, makes believe that her unrequited love might just love her back (all the while knowing that he doesn’t), indulges in her isolation, doesn’t allow herself to feel true anger at the mere child who stole her unrequited love from her, reason destroys her because she feels like she is just a tool to be used by others, reason doesn’t allow her to enjoy life because she knows there isn’t much to enjoy, and there’s just so much about Lucy Snowe that is beautiful.
And then there was that rare event when someone fell in love with her and she fell in love back. Someone who didn’t find her as an odd girl but was in love with her Protestant quirks, her quick wit, and her abundant knowledge. They planned to get married but her lover is swept away by the sea.
How tragic. How utterly tragic. Lucy, there is no hope for you.
Me she had forgotten. I was changed too; though not, I fear, for the better. I made no attempt to recall myself to her memory: why should I?
I would have given two francs for the chance of getting that book once into my hands, turning over the sacred yellow leaves, ascertaining the title, and perusing with my own eyes the figments which, as an unworthy heretic, it was only permitted me to drink in with my bewildered ears.
I suppose he regarded my silences as eccentric.
This hag, this Reason, would not let me loop up, or smile, or hope: she could not rest unless I were altogether crushed, cowed, broken-in, and broken-down. According to her, I was born only to work for a piece of bread, to await the pains of death, and steadily all life to despond. Reason might be right.
‘I believe if you had been a boy, Lucy, instead of a girl – my mother’s god-son instead of god-daughter – we should have been good friends.
‘You are good, you are beautiful; but you are not mine.’
‘I live in solitary.’
‘But solitude is sadness.’
‘Yes; it is sadness. Life, however, has worse than that.’