“…cut my heartbeat with a knife”

I was floored. Again. When these things happen, I usually call someone for support. The problem is, they don’t usually answer the phone. I was left with the sensation of having been hollowed out. Having my innards removed, reduced to what is only on the outside, and then being confronted with the simple question: What are you all about?

Allow me to back up. There are a few books that I read over and over and over again. It’s getting to be a bad habit, because I can’t get around to the other books that I want to read that I haven’t yet. The first one I’ll mention on my read over list is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I draw heavily from her philosophy, if not entirely, and this book, for me, is literally an experience of Rand herself, giving me one-on-one guidance on the lessons it contains. Then we have The Fountainhead, written by the same author. This book contains many of the lessons in AS, but (in my opnion) on a smaller scale. Lately, I’ve been viewing FH as a sort of love story. A man in love with what he does best, in love with the power of his mind, in love with the only woman that could love him, and what he does in support of the things that he loves.

Then we get to Zora Neale Hurston, and what is probably her most famous book, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Now this, this is a love story. It’s not one of those perfect love stories. It’s about a person who is looking for love, love that comes without being a slave to it, without having to compromise yourself to another. The love that is featured in this story is about a mutual adoration, admiration, respect, and desire for one another, the kind that jolts you when you first set eyes on someone, and still jolts you everytime you see them. But, in this story, even when that happens, love’s not perfect, and you still have to be yourself, first and foremost. I don’t know whether Love or Independence is the greater theme of TEWWG. Another one of her books, Seraph On The Suwanee, is a different kind of love story. When I read this one, it cuts rather deep. It’s one of those stories about a person who does everything in their power to show how much they love another person, literally everything. When the other person doesn’t get it, what is there to do? How do you continue to grow, when all of your best efforts are not only misunderstood, but barely appreciated, if even acknowledged? This is a rather dismal premise, but I assure you, our two lovebirds work it out in the end. I like this one because again, you have a wonderful love story without any fantasy.

Now, we get to what I just finished reading again last night: Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon. I find it simply amazing that an author has the ability to not only convey, but evoke so much emotion in the use of written words. I don’t know quite how to describe this book. It’s not indescribable, I just don’t have the words in my head yet. I don’t like it for the fact that it forces me to reflect upon my own lineage, my heritage, my upbringing, and it makes my wonder about what sort of legacy I will leave for future generations. I don’t like to ponder my past too much – “what’s done is done” is how I feel about it. I don’t really think that things that previous generations of my family have done in the past can affect me, but that remains to be seen. I don’t like thinking too far ahead about my future, because I feel like I still have to carve out a path for myself in this world. My weakness, if any, is that at my age, I’m still trying to realize what exactly my strengths are, and where they will take me. All of these things are running a marathon in my mind right now. Thank you, Toni Morrison.

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