Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Have to Write Things Down

While struggling with the title for this post, I decided I would jump straight into the meat of it and a title would come.  I cracked open Norwegian Wood and the first underlined passage sums me up completely, "I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them."  I carry a notebook with me at all times because when an idea comes to mind about ANYthing in my life, I have to write it out to capture it.  Not only because many times I won't remember and it annoys me later, but the act of writing itself seems to unleash my creative thought process in a way that nothing else does.

During the most tumultuous times in my life, writing is the only thing that keeps me centered.  I can have a thought rattle around in my brain for days and days without any resolution, but somehow a pen can draw the thought from my mind and onto paper where I can see it for what it really is.  This is yet another reason why I have been sad not to blog for such a long time.  I have two notebooks worth of things I'd like to write about.  So to kick off the writing season again I want to share some words from writers far better than myself.

As mentioned in a previous post, I joined two book clubs recently.  The first one met last Tuesday to discuss Coconut Unlimited.  The second will meet this Tuesday to review Frankenstein.  During the month I also read Norwegian Wood and The Book Thief.  I wanted to share the lines that, in the words of SBS, speak to me.        

Norwegian Wood:
(There are so many more lines I loved in this book but apparently I didn't have a pen with me when I read it as hardly any are highlighted.  I'll have a glance through and update it as I find them.)

"It just happens to be the way I'm made.  I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them"

"Nor could I understand why he picked me to be his friend.  I was just an ordinary kid who liked to read books and listen to music and didn't stand out in any way"

"All of us are imperfect beings in an imperfect world.  We don't live with the mechanical precision of a bank account or by measuring all our lines and angles with rules and protractors."

The Book Thief:

"It's a lot easier, she realized, to be on the verge of something than to actually be it"

Coconut Unlimited:
(A book about three outcast teenage boys who start a hip hop band whilst knowing relatively nothing about hip hop.  A cute and nostalgic book that made me giggle and remember the good old days)

"It was one of dad's old tapes.  I handed it over.  The tabs were broken, meaning it couldn't be recorded over.  Neel pulled a tissue out from next to Ba's bed and tore off two bits, rolling them into balls, filling the tape gaps"

"As the final verse faded out there was the chewed crackle of a new recording"

"He sang to the summery short man syndrome lying dormant in Anand's soul, with his empowering call to tiny nerds across the world to unite and get that girl."

"They didn't sell the album in Harrow, though, and we were pre-internet teenagers.  Things acquired a mystique easily back then because you had to really seek them out"

"I wouldn't have been able to pump the hi-fi up to 20dB and scream out my rap lyrics like a proper gangsta"

"I was mentally working out how low to stoop to reach her lips and whether this would mean less contact with her body, which was both warm and boobed"

"I'd inadvertently neutralized him"

"luckily Jason know how to move stealthily like a ninja so we ninja-stealth-walked over to the bushes"

"They don't teach you much about mass economic accumulative speculation in that school do they"
           ~The local drug dealer explaining supply and demand

"Pull yourself together, Amit.  This is real! Man's hurt.  Just check him for blood, blud"


"I was apoplectic with hectic worry. I was manic with panic.  I was done for"

"All this nostalgia, all this memory - it's what makes a man"


"Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject: and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested to it"

"for nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye"

"I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling"

"On her death-bed the fortitude and benignity of this best of women did not desert her...She died calmly; and her countenance expressed affection even in death...It is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she, whom we saw every day, and whose very existence appeared a part of our own, can have departed forever - that the brightness of a beloved eye can have been extinguished, and the sound of of a voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed, never more to be heard.  These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences.

"The time at length arrives when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished"

"We sat late.  We could not tear ourselves away from each other, nor persuade ourselves to say the word 'Farewell!'"  (August 1st, 2010, anyone?)

"I, who had ever been surrounded by amiable companions, continually engaged in endeavouring to bestow mutual pleasure, I was now alone"

"The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind"

"in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder"

"He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if they may be called, were fixed on me"

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change"

"He could not live under the horrors that were accumulated around him; the springs of existence suddenly gave way: he was unable to rise from his bed, and in a few days he died in my arms"

"We are still surrounded by mountains of ice, still in imminent danger of being crushed in their conflict.  The cold is excessive, and many of my unfortunate comrades have have already found a grave amidst this scene of desolation"