Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Philosophy of Jenna

I went to see "Revolutionary Road" with M and S . I shall summarize in a sentence.

"Two terrible, and unremarkable people yell at each other again and again"

I hated it. It was all about being trapped in suburbia, and trapped in their lives, and trapped by everything. They want to escape to Paris where somehow things will be magically better even though the wife is clearly insane, and the husband has not talent or ambition to speak of. When I was young I probably would have like it, but I feel I have grown out of that now.

When I was young (because now I am old) I was a little in love with misery. I thought that being miserable was synonymous with being important, and I was properly miserable almost all the time.

There is a line in "A Room With a View" which I love. The Elder Mr. Emmerson turns to Lucy and says,
"I don't believe in this worldly sorrow, do you?"

I no longer believe in this worldly sorrow. Thoreau talks about "walkers" people who are truly awake in the world, those who marvel at it's glories, and who find that it is enough to stand in a field, and those who are not "walkers" are "sleepers." I think those that buy into the worldly sorrow are "sleepers," and it is simply too easy, too complacent, too passive to live life as a sleeper.

I strive to be a "walker."

Of course I am not always successful, I don't think that anyone is, not even Thoreau, but there is an everlasting fount of hope for Thoreau believes that we are born every moment. Every moment we have the opportunity to be born a "walker."

I am well aware how romantic and naive this all sounds, for I spent my teenage years as a very cynical sleeper. But I like to think that these beliefs are not born out of naivete, but of the second innocence that William Blake references in his Songs of Innocence. Not a naive innocence of the world, but to experience things that are sad, and find your way back to a wiser innocence.
To choose innocence and joy, in the style of Don Quixote.

I know that I am very young, but I have had small tastes of sorrow. I am not completely unaware of terrible things, but I choose, and I strive not to be destroyed by them.

I find that I am unable to say what I want to say in a very clear or eloquent way.

I shall instead close with another quote from "Room With a View" whose literary merits may be small, but it expresses nothing I don't believe. I shall take the line from the movie, rather than the book, because I think it a bit more poetic.

"by the side of the everlasting "WHY" is a YES and a YES and a YES!"

I suppose I am a proper transcendentalist now a days.

1 comment: