I'm letting myself read things that I want to, now that I'm done with finals. Even though a part of me feels as though I'm cheating on my husband, "College," with books that are frivolous and too wild for his tastes. It feels very good.
My first book is Simone De Beavoir's "She Came To Stay." I ordered it from Amazon for mere pennies knowing nothing about it but the delicious picture and title on the cover, and the fact that Beauvoir was a vital part in the feminist movement through her writing. She helped propel the revolution. (As most revolutions are started, through little words.) I am not past the first four lines, and I'm already swept up in it. I have re-read these lines over and over and I vow right here on our HerStory blog that when I read books, and they move me, I must commit them to my memory and not let them go eventually as I normally do with the other books I have read. This tragedy occurs because I force so many books in without letting them fully digest into my system since I have a hungry grumbly brain. I will read this book not page by page but word by word as one would touch someone's face (moving to cheek lingering moving to neck lingering moving to forehead).
The opening paragraph includes this sentence, "Francoise was sleepy, but there was something intimate and comfortable about her own weariness." Love at first read- (my heart beats faster, and slows down in peace all at the same time).
I like that line because it sounds simple and effortless at first glance. In actuality she is already encouraging the reader to be so caught up in herself: her truth and her failures that she cannot help but be enamored with her daily mundane life, her casual imperfect self. The title seems to hint at this type of mindset as well. It reminds me of one of my favorite books called Romancing The Ordinary. That book follows each season and focuses your attention on casual things that take on this gleam when beheld by the author, which is exactly what Beauvoir is achieving (These are the marks of mystics).
I also adore that Beauvoir is not making excuses of why this character is tired. Calling someone tired is usually an insult or a missed attempt at being implicit about stating that someone looks like crap. She pokes fun at that common way of viewing tired in a non confrontational way- by appreciating her dishevelment, her lack of force and action. I have always been a fan of people in this state: before sleep or after having no sleep where they say what they're thinking, and also have their walls down (because they probably forgot to put them on properly in the morning). I'm also a fan of myself at these moments as I'm more willing to sleep on the grass, and talk too long on the phone. Come to think of it, I like everything to look a little worn: furniture, books, eye make up; I think women are at their most beautiful (I mean myself too) when our eye make up is smudged and soft and our eyes beg for sleep. David Bowie, too. I have a strong gut feeling that this book will only serve to intensify my respect for things that are just a little out of a place, a little off of their game.
I'll post my thoughts on this book over the summer. I'm sure some of the other HerStory women will have thoughts on their summer books as well.
Happy happy summer reading!