April 22, 2013

Belonging

I have this irresistible urge to write. I realized I don't want to write like Victor Hugo or Jane Austen. Though having my words remembered for so long, be called classic, and be studied in every high school English class, would be amazing, I don't want my words fandomized on Pinterest boards all over the country. Or shred apart by professional book shredders in copy after copy of book analyses and reader's guides. I think I would rather write like Jerry Spinelli than Shakespeare. I would rather write a book like Stargirl than The Christmas Carol, because for all their loveliness, books like The Christmas Carol belong to EVERYONE. Everyone knows the story, everyone knows that a doornail is very much dead, and everyone knows that it is a book one should write sometime in their life. But I can convince myself that quiet, unassuming books belong to me, or perhaps a select few. Stargirl belonged to my 7th grade teacher, Miss Aubree. She was and is quite obsessed with that possession and shared it with me. Books like that don't always have timeless stories, but I am not a timeless mortal being. Until I get to read in the library of Heaven, I only need a book of good literature for right now. I don't care if people can still relate in 100 years. I don't care if my books aren't mentioned by any high school teacher, ever. As long as it belongs to someone, not everyone.

Belonging: (when referring to a particularly changing book) Signaled by a feeling that a book was written specifically for you, or that speaks to your soul in some way. A book that makes you laugh, or cry, or feel something more than the usual, mundane emotion that is far too present in the course of an average day. A book you keep in close proximity so you can reread it over and over again, and marvel over and over again at how you never get tired of reading it. A book you are dying to talk about, yet you don't know what to say about it. A book that cannot possibly belong to anyone else but you, in your mind at least.