Title: If vision is the only validation, then most of my life isn't real.
Date Modified: Thursday 1 October 2009, 9.22 PM
The fuzzy feeling in my brain that was created after reading Twilight in Year 9 has not been altered since. Neither has changed the fascination after reading Angels and Demons. I am afraid to read these favourite books a second time, because I am quite sure that I would not have the exact same feelings ever again. I can only wistfully stare at them. I have experienced the decline of strong emotions over and over again with many of my other favourite books. Looking For Alibrandi or Nightshade does not make my heart beat any faster nor does it seem desirable to be in the main characters’ positions. Shatkahon has lost its magic too, merely because I read certain parts so many times that the change it brought within me the first time I read it seem quite distant.
But the book that I would least like to read again is 2nd on my list of favourites: Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, even though that’s my main self selected text for Belonging! Although I am disappointed that the amazement, awe and depression that surfaced in my mind after reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close can never be recreated, that is not the main reason why I am afraid to pick it up again. I think it’s because I don’t want to put myself through the intense depression a second time. It came over me as soon as I started to read it, anytime, anywhere. It’s so full of truisms that I had to agree with everything that Foer had to say, making the situation worse. At that time, I related Oskar with a friend of mine who has been through clinical depression, making his problems seem even more real. I have been recommending this book to anyone and everyone I can get my hands on, but I have not thought about the effects that it had on me. Its overtly cynical look at life is extremely unhealthy to any person’s mind if they are not strong. Lately I have started to realise that its not really important to state the truths in life. We all know them. What’s more important is to try to fix the ugly truths. More important is that secret stash of energy that keeps a person rise every morning, looking forward to life. Appreciating what we have is more important and so much more satisfying than wallowing over what we lack.
I think this feeling of despair comes with excessive materialism. From personal experience, I have seen that whenever I plunge into the world, trying to grab what I can to fill up my world in my little box, I suffocate in a sinking feeling. It’s sort of like the feeling you get an hour after eating a bar of chocolate. The satisfaction is perfect, but it only lasts a few moments.
It can also come with the wrong kind of ‘immaterialism’. Most people confuse ‘happiness found in a higher state of living’ with being a loser.