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So, I have been a hermit of late, squirreled away with my books and only finding the internet briefly. You know how it is; let yourself get distracted and suddenly all your time slips away, and I have really needed that time. School has been depressing me--it's usually so easy. But I have a certain sort of mind that is good at one thing, but emphatically, resoundingly bad at another. I don't know if that's just me making excuses, but I do know that numbers and equations and formulas are hard for me to follow, that I have to pound them into my brain over and over to make any sort of impression. I'd rather be reading or writing or running my hands over old bones, because these are things I understand, or that I can understand. The logical, numbered side of the world--I know that if I force myself, if I take the time, I can make sense of it. And the moments where everything snaps into place are magic, of course. Wonderful, even more so because there's a different sort of pride in that hard-won success. It's just. Lately I have had very few of those snapping moments, very little clarity, and it's been weighing me down. Feelings of inadequacy leaking into everything else.

I just have to try harder, though. That's all.

The point of this entry is, one: sorry for disappearing.

The next point is, I just finished reading Neil Gaiman's the Graveyard Book. It is fantastic. It is everything I love about ghost stories and fairy tales and legends, about what I love about life. I wish I could meet Neil Gaiman one day and somehow tell him that he's the best artist ever, that he's framed the world so that you can see the sideways bits, the melting gleams, and that reading his books never fails, never never never, to make me quietly, shiveringly happy. I have a feeling, though, that in the event that I ever do meet him, I will be a mess of adoring gibberish instead.

So instead of staring at my textbooks or pretending my textbooks don't exist and staring at a wall, I'm out on my fire escape again for the first time in what feels like weeks. Bundled up in my biggest coat, clutching a thermos of tea, and wiggling my stockinged toes against the railing. It's brillantly cold out, seeping in through my jeans and my socks and the sleeves of my sweater, and I love it. It feels like going to the Fall Fair, like shivering in line for the rickety old roller coaster, hands sticky with caramel apples, or like my best friend's chin on my shoulder before we lit off through the Halloween streets on our carefully crafted path--have to maximize candy intake, you know, and spend weeks plotting past years' hauls against new knowledge of the streets. I love the fall, because it feels like possibilities, like a Bradbury story. Like Neil Gaiman, or Susannah Clarke, or the Little Prince. When you are just the perfectly right amount of cold, you feel awake and ready to see the world shift. You feel real.

This is my way of saying that I am a nutter out in the 32 degree weather in my fire escape, listening to people walk and laugh on the street below, and that I'm still writing my own ghost story, because I love it, and it makes me happy. So, Neil Gaiman, thank you. Thank you for writing. Thank you for reminding me to go outside. If I catch pneumonia, I don't blame you. It's worth it.

P.S. MY FINGERS ARE GOING NUMB AND CEASING TO FING. SEND GLOVES OR COMMON SENSE. O October night, you are a double-edged sword.

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novembersmith

May 2010

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