It is Friday night, which seems as good a time as any to spackle cracks in the walls. Cracks, long and spidery, have long invaded my room. The spackle glides on pink and dries white. It is interesting how such obvious marks can fade into one’s subconscious, how long it can take to realize the imperfections that make up a familiar environment. But I don’t mind them. They are friendly somehow.
Spackling is a meditative sport. It is something Mr. Miyagi might approve of. Scrape up, scrape down. I think of my adventures this week, mostly literary. This week I finished a favorite book of a favorite person, as per my 30 things list. The favorite person? My cousin Dianna, an unofficial older sister. Her favorite book? The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
I wonder, have you read this? It’s well written. It’s about a minister who takes his wife and four daughters on a missionary’s journey into the Congo, in 1959. The story is told through the eyes of all the Price women. It also chronicles the real life assassination of President Patrice Lumumba, the subsequent installation of corrupt military leader Joseph Mobutu, and the recurring involvement of the U.S. in said matters. Throughout my readings I also searched for my cousin between the lines, from within the jungle. I relished the experience.
Allegories were in this week. Immediately after finishing Poisonwood, I coincidentally picked up George Orwell‘s classic Animal Farm.‘ The book famously mirrors the Russian revolution, the sincere ideals that inspired it, Stalin’s tyrannical rise to power and his subsequent spoiling of all original principles. I feel as if I must have read it before. But, I think I would have remembered how horrifying it is, how brilliant. I fell asleep thinking about pigs walking on two feet, about my favorite part, the very last paragraph: Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
This is what it is about classics, why they are my favorite kind of books to read. Classics express truth in such a way, that you feel as if you’ve always known it, even though the thought never crossed your mind until seeing it in words. Also, depending on how it is written, the language can be so pervasive, we hum with the voice of the author in our heads for hours, days. Isn’t that right, comrade?
I am finished spackling. The pink is fading fast. I am trying to clear my mind in time, for the next great adventure. For Saturday. For Sunday.