Can't sleep, and am trying to cut down on artificial sleep aids, so here I am at 3:19 in the morning. I spent all night reading some heavy crap-- Roland Barthes on semiotics, some of which is great, some of which is so f'ing dense! Then I read half of The Scarlet Letter, which I do not know how i have come to this point in my life and literary career without having read before. I love this book. I can tell it's going in my all time favorites list, maybe even top ten. It feels very much like Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis - so perfect in its psychological pictures in these people, and of course, some of which, I am so familiar with. I'm freaking crying through the whole novel, the useless guilt, the way people destroy themselves for nothing. And the beams of hope, and freaking awesome little Pearl jumping around like an elf, literally dancing on graves!
I've also recently read Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance and House of Seven Gables (I read them first), and they are so, so, so much LESS engaging than this first one. Some of his short stories have always stuck with me, most notably "Young Goodman Brown," but in The Scarlet Letter he was really able to do something extraordinary, truely amazing.
And so many other things going on, and I feel like a confessional poet in the middle of the night, bare my soul right down beyond the bone to the marrow, all the things I would trot out and line up in this public sphere. I just feel raw lately, like everything that happens in the day affects me so hard. There are these moments of clarity, wicked clarity, followed later by the dull, thudding sadness. I've been so godawful tired too lately with more bodily responsibilties and taking more care of the beautiful Joseph, my own beam of sunshine, perfection, wonderfulness, cuddlyness, wrapped-up-in-skin-amazingness. But tiring, and then the mountain of my own making of academic to-do's. Trying to be a person, really alive, every day, fresh, shaking off the molds of stagnation, expanding to understand all the knowledge and wonders I can't even comprehend today, the world is so fucking big and mind-blowing, and my small experience with ideas so limited. Today especially, I was just bowed over in awe and wonderment--there is so much to learn! so many amazing ideas that I haven't even encountered but are out there waiting. And all of these thoughts and intensities toss me back and forth between exhilaration and exhaustion.