"To be alive at all is to have scars."
-John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
Lots of life changes since last we chatted. My marriage is, for the most part, over. I moved from a nice house in the country to an apartment in the city. On balance, I'm happier than I've ever been.
But I also feel free. Bad habits in a relationship form quietly and have the shield of justification to keep them alive. They thrive in the warm waters of conflict and suppressed emotions. These habits can become so huge and unwieldy that they obscure even larger problem. Tearing down the habits means exposing a bigger issue and it's frankly terrifying.
Because the truth is that sometimes a marriage just doesn't work. And as much as you care about someone and love them, they're not your partner. They have different dreams, different goals, different tastes. This isn't anyone's fault, but once it becomes clear then all of the other problems come into focus as well. How can you live your life and feel like yourself when your chosen partner wants a different life? How can you feel content when your spouse is doing/thinking things that are foreign to you? That's not a partnership; it's a roommate..
"We all have to die a bit every now and then and usually it's so gradual that we end up more alive than ever. Infinitely old and infinitely alive."
-Roberto Bolaño, The Skating Rink
So what's new? I have been reading, but slowly. I managed to finally read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which hit a little too close to home. I finished Matt Johnson's Pym, which was fun. I also finished George Saunders much-lauded short story collection, Tenth of December.
I watched the Tournament of Books roll past.I couldn't get my shit together enough to put on another contest. I barely kept up with some of the commentary. But I was thrilled to see that The Orphan Master's Son took the Rooster. I loved that book when I read it almost a year ago. If you haven't read it then shame on you! Head out to your local bookstore or library right now and read it.
I'm going to start doing this blogging thing again. I'm currently reading The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, so look for a review of that soon. Someday I will collect my thoughts on Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold. The Steinbeck Reading Challenge lives on... no kidding.
Thanks for reading. I'll see you soon.