So I am reading through blogs and newsletters on the internet, looking for inspiration, motivation for connection.
You see, I want to be moved by something, anything to feel my stone heart leap. And then suddenly, it’s there for me in this short story.
My entry point was listening to Lydia Davis read a short story about a New Year Resolution
“At last, half way through your life you’re smart enough to see that it amounts to nothing. Even success amounts to nothing. But how does a person learn to see herself as nothing when she already had so much trouble trying to see herself as something in the first place? It’s so confusing. You spend the first half of your life learning that you are something after all now you have to spend the second half of your life learning to see yourself as nothing. You have been a negative nothing and now you want to be a positive nothing…”
I get it, see? And for me it is the powerful beautiful New Year message I have been searching for this year. The writer has written a universal truth and I can accept my place in the world. I am at peace. I don’t have to keep trying. It’s over but in the most positive of positive ways. You see, “A medal or a rotten tomato, it’s all the same”
Later, I read more about the writer in this early Paris review interview on her writing.
“Nothing” says Lydia, “according to the Zen Buddhist discipline, is a good thing. But according to my upbringing, Freud and family dynamics, nothing is a big problem. So that story is about two disciplines colliding and the poor head caught in the middle saying Uhh, wait a minute….”
A thousand thanks must go to Austin Kleon for introducing me to this prose.
One day, I would sincerely like to return the favour.
And for now, Happy New Year!