There is that rare instance when you are reading a book and and a character's thoughts, actions, and expressions mirror your own. . . or hearken back to a time when you felt or behaved in exactly the same way. The book ties itself to you then, and the inextricable link exists because the human desire to be understood transcends all, even when the revelation disarms. It was hard for me to complete Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises because I saw so much of myself in Lady Brett Ashley - the parts I don't want to admit or confess or even come to terms with. . .and then of course, the book became a part of me.
The novel opens with Gertrude Stein's famous "You are all a lost generation." Sometimes I feel as if the economic hits we took a few years back may have brought a second coming of sorts. . .and that I am in the midst of it now. A select group of us - late twenties through thirties - have either lost lifestyles or loved ones or both - and are living simply to escape a reality we don't always want to face. Hindsight will tell. And then the beautiful lines from Ecclesiastes: One generation passeth away, and another generation comcih, but the earth abicleth forever. . . the sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down." Indeed we all move in circles, always going back to where we came, Gatsby-style - "so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."Back to beginnings, back to being lost, back to Brett - "it's not my fault if people choose to take me seriously." Brett, for her darkest moments - "I'm a goner. . .I've got to do something I really want to do. I've lost my self-respect. . .I'm thirty-four you know, I'm not going to be one of these bitches who ruin children. . .Fun to be in love? No, I think it's hell on earth. Beautiful? With this nose? Oh darling I've been so miserable." Brett, for despite being rumored "a drunk and a drifter" has a greater capacity for joy and forgiveness and life than anyone else. Brett, who wonders at the end of the novel, "We could have had such a damned good time together," and the final, heartbreaking, searing, "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
I love the idea of decorating with quotes that are particularly meaningful to you:
Any of the vintage mirrors at the GreenFlea flea market - or any flea market near your home - shall serve as the perfect frame. Simply remove the mirror, lacquer the frame with the color you're loving at the moment, and then have your favorite line created as a vinyl decal from BuildASign and it is shipped right to your door! Take a moment and really think about it. Is there a book, or a character, or a line that just resonates with you for reasons that are beyond personal and meaningful? What better way to accessorize your home? I created mine tonight:
You could even forgo all of the above and use simple printer paper and any cool frame:
I'm not sure what color I am painting the mirror frame or where it will go in my apartment, but I won't think about that now. I'll think about it tomorrow. I can't wait to share the finished product with you. . . I think anticipation is an extremely undervalued joy in life.
Isn't it pretty to think so?