It’s not hard to see that I haven’t been reviewing books as frequently. I have no need for excuses; the truth is the easiest way to explain. And the truth is this: the internet has been a dark, dark place and being on it for too long sets my brain aflame.
We live in dark times. One simply has to turn on the news to see the darkness that feasts upon the world. What people tend to forget is that the world has always been dark: there have always been wars, and discrimination, and fear, and the few controlling the plenty. Indeed, we exist in the safest point in history. But if there has always been dark, then the opposite is true too: there is always, always light.
I find my light in books. Some days, the darkness overwhelms and I have to read a lighthearted young adult romance, or a children’s lit adventure. Sometimes, I crave escape, and the world of fantasy calls me. In these books, I find a form of reassurance: while reading of a world so different from my own, I come to understand my life. Sometimes, I read the bleakest stories I can find, the ones with no happy ending that leave your pages crinkled from free-falling tears. In these books, my heart hurts, then it is reborn. I can heal with these characters and let out all the sadness that rests in my soul.
No matter what you read, you will understand. There is something that comes out, illuminating the words on the page and igniting emotion in your heart. Search for books that make you feel. Search for books that make you believe. Search for books that speak to what you cannot say.
Find your light.
Find it, and never let it go.
Yesterday, my campus was grieving. We are Canadians yet the impact of the US election was felt no matter where you went. While Canada, last year, stepped ahead and elected Trudeau, America took a giant leap backwards.
In my class on Jane Austen, my professor opened by telling us he was in no mood to think today. His mind was a mess, a hurricane, with thoughts colliding rather than connecting. We briefly shared our thoughts on the election, then my professor made a segue into Mansfield Park.
What proceeded to happen was the best literary discussion of my academic career.
We were all mad and hurt and upset, yet discussing Austen seemed to organize our thoughts in a way that wasn’t distracting, but revealing. Austen allowed us to talk about slavery and racist in the early 1800s. Her work and our discussion allowed us to see how literature, how art, is used to demonstrate the politics of the day. Maybe Austen had a political agenda, or maybe she didn’t. Either way, Mansfield Park reveals the concerns and the hope– the hope!– that existed in this time period.
Mansfield Park allowed us to heal and hope for a better tomorrow. It let us see beautiful art is made from the pain of today. This art expresses everything we want to say, but can’t, or everything we don’t know how to convey. The most beautiful art is brought forth from pain.
Don’t let the election results hinder you. Let them be the fire in your veins.
For with literature and art, we can mark our history and change the day.
So I’m back at university, which means less reading books, and more reading textbooks. Sad face. But if I do come across anything interesting, or I find time to read anything other than Jane Austen, I will be sure to share it with you!!!!
Hopefully I have time to reread Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda because I love that book. I just reread I’ll Give You the Sun and I cried every 5 pages. I’m glad to see that we’re still in love.