Friday, June 8, 2012

Not Enough Parkour

The awful white highlighting is back and I know why now and it's so completely nonsensical that I refuse to spend time trying to fix it. So while you're reading this, give it a good glare from me. That's it. Thanks.

“Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement.”

This comes from Charles Warnke’s “Don’t Date a Girl Who Reads.” I love it—as does, I imagine, every girl who reads—despite the last line in which Warnke’s asserts to the girls who read, “I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.” We love it because it’s very true that those of us who read with a passion tend to see life as a book.[1]

Life is episodic, it ebbs and flows like chapters, has paragraphs where life slows down and speeds up. A summer day when the sun shines just right and the wind has that perfect smell in the air, your body is reading, writing, and living a descriptive paragraph, if only for a moment. Books are made to be lifelike and they succeed so completely that sometimes life begins to be book-like.

Seeing life as a book has its downsides. Perhaps most obviously, it makes us expect a happy ending—or even an ending at all—before we’ve run out of life to live. Seeing life as a story also teaches us to view ourselves as the main character and if that’s not the most selfish thing in the world (not to mention unbiblical), I’m not sure what is. Life fails as a story in many ways. The dialogue is absolute crap, the tempo—too often tedious—erratic, and there aren’t nearly enough parkour scenes.

But the good thing is, a girl who reads “knows the importance of plot.” She knows that conflict is necessary for happiness, but also that it ebbs and flows just like happiness. Books teach us to see the beauty and ugliness of the world, to recognize each for what it is—inevitable, but part of a larger plan. All things shall pass, but they will not pass without significance.

[1] For me, I’ll forever be stuck in a coming-of-age novel. Maybe that’s embarrassing—I’m honestly not sure.

1 comment: