Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lately I have mostly just been reading and re-reading things by and about David Foster Wallace. I've been feeling sad, I suppose, and this seems to be something I do when I am feeling sad. He wrote so much about giving the lonely person access to imaginative other selves to help her out of being marooned in her own experience; it's a terribly complicated thing to try to engage deeply with his work, because it brings along some new awareness of the nature of my own default patterns of thought, and the new ways is which I would like to read and live, and then there's the hard work of keeping up with his relentlessly complex network of thought that makes me want to both try harder at so many things, and realize there are a lot of fights I'm going to lose. But one gift he always gives his readers, that I try to take away from his writing anyway, is the idea that there are innumerable ways to approach experience that haven't been explored, if only we work diligently and creatively enough to chip away at how easy it is to follow what we've internalized over the course of time. I want to have hope that it could be possible to break down a lot of really hollow and soulless conventions that keep us full of anxiety and bereft of the ability to be sincere, but getting through the sadness to the very hard work that must be done can seem so impossible.