Books and Cryptic Messages

There’s much to be said about what an effect something like a book can have on someone’s life.

Sometimes. Life does not feel worth living. Sometimes, the pain is enough that it immobilizes, restricts, making it impossible to breathe, to move, to grow. This can’t be called life? Can it? Going through the motions, just getting through the day. This is not living it’s existing. Just that. ONLY that.

A book can mean that you go away. Go away from your reality and become engrossed in something else. An alternate reality, if you will.

This alternate reality is power. It can bring you back from the dead or it can push you further in the wrong direction. The right book, the right story, can keep you living, keep you feeling alive.

But, is this real? Can it really be that simple? Can an alternate reality save someone from utter desperation, from total self-destruction? Or is it just prolonging the inevitable?

Would the appropriate response be to keep “living” that alternate reality? Would that make real life more bearable? Or even just bearable ENOUGH to just go on? Or is this just the coward’s way, the empty way?

In this case, should the response be the opposite. If life is pain, then, won’t the idea of the alternate reality just partially hide what’s there? Hide it long enough so that when it’s gone, as it will be someday, it will be too late to try to heal the pain? The pain then overtaking everything, making everything immobile, making breathing impossible…

What if the alternate reality is the only thing keeping the pain away? What if the motions are not enough anymore? What if there is no way to make the pain go away without the alternate reality?

Then what? Go back to a life of just existing? Nothing more, nothing less… Wait until it consumes every good thing that’s left? Wait until it destroys every feeling and relationship across its destructive path? Until there’s nothing left there to protect, to live for…

Then again… Maybe the wrong alternate reality can be just as destructive. Driving a wedge, further away from everything that’s worth anything in this life.

But the right alternate reality… Well that can feel like life.

Maybe that’s just it. The feeling of life is better than the pain, anguish, immobility, going through the motions… The feel of it is better than not feeling anything at all.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. monica
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 23:01:31

    It’s completely true that a book can have a profound impact on my mood. A good book can make my week. And a bad one can be such a drag. I read “Suicide Blonde” about 12 years ago and I still remember how shitty I felt for weeks after. I was desperate to find something else that would grab me and send my imagination somewhere nice again! I think because your imagination and effort are so immersed for so long that there is no movie or TV program that can possibly come close to reaching you like a book can.


  2. Trackback: Guilty pleasures « Mariluh’s Own Personal Space in the Void

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