I am only aware that it is Easter because a couple different friends have asked me if I have Easter plans.
I suppose a great many people have spent this morning studying Scripture. I saw that Salome was on this morning; though it was not an adaptation of Wilde’s version, it nonetheless inspired me to re-read De Profundis. This is about as spiritual as I get any day of the week, much less this one. Only those who have never read De Profundis will scoff at this last remark – for those who are familiar with this epic letter know that, at its core, it is explicitly concerned with faith, spirtuality, and even individualism.
The closing lines of De Profundis are among the most stirring and evocative in all of literature. For me, only those that close Eliot’s Middlemarch (quoted in a previous blog, search it) and those of Dorian Gray can match it:
Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.
Nothing short of remarkable. No one writes like this anymore, or perhaps more simply, there is no one else capable of writing this well. I sent a recent paper I wrote to a friend (it concerned the business sphere which she is currently immersed in) and prefaced it by saying “not the best thing I’ve ever written….but not terrible either.” She responded after reading it with “i (expletive) love it. not terrible at all.” And I guess it wasn’t. Though mildly interesting on the face of it, the writing and subject matter itself is little more than inconsequential and offers no contribution or value to any literary canon. Maybe it’s silly, ridiculous, pretentious, absurd – all of the above, perhaps? – to view one’s own writings through the prism of Wilde and Joyce, but that is the mirror which I hold up. If it is not of such standard, then it is subpar. As crazy as it sounds, if one sets an unreachable goal, then one always has something to be pushing forward and onward towards. If perfection is the ideal, then it ultimately can never be achieved, and one always has something to strive for. This is what motivates me.
So for me, it isn’t about reaching the summit, it’s about relishing the journey there – all elements of it, positive and negative, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Remembering the past not to wallow it, but as a frame of reference to sharpen one’s focus on how good life is at the present and how one should stop and savor the finer things, which can and do vary for each individual. For my goals are not society’s goals, they are my own – and there is peace and comfort in that, as much as can be allowed in modern life. I have extracted this if nothing else.
Hang the stars, indeed.
School is school…it is being disposed with clinically and methodically at this point.
As for post-graduation plans, there is a positive development that will play out to a tangible conclusion in the very near future. There is nothing more to report until it breaks one way or the other. I continue to maintain conversations along several other fronts as well. Sometimes interviews materalize out of the blue in disciplines you never would have imagined – this happened recently. I am confident that with this many things going on, something will break my way.
Quote: See above, it’s impossible to top Wilde…
Song: The Smiths, “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”
Ha ha…I think I telegraphed that one. On Easter morning, where a great many are musing on the life of Christ and a very few others are musing on Wilde’s musings on Christ, why not a little Morrissey?
And now, back to Atlas Shrugged….oh yes, it’s quite a diverse reading list. I’ve been catching up on past issues of the New Yorker as well. I must enjoy the existence of a student while I still can, the expiration date on this silly life is drawing near.
Watching the Masters is also involved, and Rock of Love. Yes, I do believe you need a fine balance of high and low art. Too much of one can make you intolerable, and too much of the other can do just the same.