Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A runcible spoon

We were approved for the apartment - rejoice, rejoice!

Honestly, I'm feeling a little too tired/blah right now to rejoice much myself. I am looking forward to a cleaner, bigger space with less people. I'm also very happy to be moving into what I consider to be a more aesthetically pleasing space. I've realized how much it means to me to be happy looking at my surroundings. Part of me knows that I really could get by with a sleeping bag in a nice field of heather and a bottle of water and some bread and raisins. Another part of me wants to wallow in the pleasures of good cheese, fine chocolate, a roaring fire (okay, so the new apartment has a fireplace but it doesn't work - boo!), soft fabrics, hot baths... and the list goes on.

I've also been realizing something lately about Why I Read. Its a question I've wondered about from time to time - especially when I peer into the future at my potential progeny. Its a scary thought! What if my children HATE to read? What if they prefer... ohgodohgod... a sweaty game of football over a good book. Or even worse - experimenting with lipstick and eye shadow!

Such terrible thoughts must not be thought.*

Back to why I read...

To learn about the world, to gain insights into minds other then my own, to escape (that's a big one) - overall: To Be Someone Else.

Not that I don't like me. I generally do. Except... book heroines seem to have more fun sometimes. *sigh*

I'm reading one of my favorite books, one which I consider a bit of a guilty pleasure because the back of the book (damn the publishers with their target audiences!) makes it sound like a sordid romance novel.

I've decided I will openly read it and should anyone challenge it as damn good fantasy fiction I will smarmily point out a few facts to them, such as the book's 1) historicity (no, not all of it but she did a fantastic research job) 2) time travel component (thus making it more then a "bodice-ripper" thankyouverymuch) 3) frequent battle sequences (it's not just for girls goddamnit!) and of course, 4) extremely entertaining writing. I've never read a Harlequin that had that much (and yes, I used to read them when I was 12 or so and found some my grandma had stashed away... anywho).

I think starting a reread of Outlander was something I really needed right now because I've sunk right into it and have been reading it almost non stop - that rarely happens to me with books anymore. The more I read the more I'm impressed with the amazing job she did in laying the detailed ground-work for the follow-up books. (Yes, its a series but fortunately not the Robert Jordan please-let-it-end-God kind.) I'm honestly not sure where the series ends up going because after the fourth book I stopped reading them - I really, really hate series that have no foreseeable end and yet I had to pick this one up again, it really is just that good.

I think the biggest problem I'm having with my reread is my longing to be in the book. Moreso then with Harry Potter, moreso then with His Dark Materials - this one just makes me curse the fate that left me devoid of a time machine. (And yes, I've visited Stonehenge and sadly I was not carried away to 17th century Scotland.)

Part of this longing might have to do with missing the British Isles - someplace I am determined to spend more of my life exploring and hopefully living in. Part of it just might be me wishing for a time when living was... well, more simple and more challenging. I sometimes think I'd rather be hoeing a garden or tilling a field or cooking over a huge hearth then sitting on my ass in an office day after day doing a task that in some other time was and will be totally unrecognizable as human work. And before anyone jumps on that daydream - yes, I know I'd soon be missing hot tap water and indoor plumbing and modern medicine and - probably, above all - equal rights.

But still, sometimes it seems like we live in a world that's been so... explored.

When there's no place on earth you can go without being in range of a tracking satellite, well, it feels like we're not as free as we once had the opportunity to be. There's nowhere we can walk and not be found again. There's no where we will ever visit that has not been seen before.

It makes me sad.

And the direction space travel is taking doesn't hold out any optimism either. Watching the shuttle launch a few weeks ago made me realize that our governments'** true motives for space exploration are nowhere near as pure as simply "going where no man has gone before." We have no guiding Prime Directive to follow. We're just out to rape and pillage. I imagine a future, more virtuous generation*** looking back on ours in horror: to them it'll look as if a slightly more civilized version of the Vikings got their hands upon the technology to not only destroy their own world but others too.


If anyone needs me, I'll be in 17th century Scotland. Blissfully eating bannock with unwashed hair.

*I admit, I could deal with the football/makeup thing as long as such activities were balanced with the finer pursuit of reading.
**The Americans, the Russians, whichever.
*** Well, I'm crossing my fingers.


Elliot said...

What a long post! This must be a record.

Sometimes you just have to read a certain book. Your unconscious lets you know.

Jan said...

Time Travel, eh?
Have you read the Time Traveller's Wife?

It's good.

Anactoria said...

No! Not yet! But a few people I know have, including Karina. She says its a pretty decent read. Did you like it? :o)