NaBloPoMo. Again.

Me. And my 11yo parasite twin.
Every November I try this.

Most years I don't write every day.

It's okay. It's not like anyone is giving out prizes.

And I don't need any challenges to feel good about, well, taking on a challenge. To prove something to myself. Or to onlookers. Or the paparazzi.

I've passed several traditional mid-life crisis time stamps now without running a gauntlet or taking down the king stag at dawn or having my hair highlighted, and I've come out on the other side just fine. Also, dandy. Even my knees and hips feel good.

I'm okay with leaving the house with an unplucked unibrow. I feel confident, more or less, with my hair parted on either side, in flats or in heels, glasses or contacts, four hours sleep or ten, driving a minivan or riding a bike that needs a bit of oiling and new tires.

I'm all kinds of full of self esteem.

In fact, some people would say I need to be taken down a peg or two.

I am going to write on my blog every day, again, because it's what I do in November. Evidently.

However, this time with a twist. Because, after a few chapters of meandering on about one's precious meanderings, even Augusten Burroughs gets a little "Oh, c'mon now....please. And really."

So, I think that this go around I'll talk about books.

Not necessarily my favorite books. Or books I think you should read.

How about just the books I find in my way around my house. Like, this book:

This book is from Junior year in college. The year I was allowed to pick higher level literature classes on my own, but under the guidance of some bluestocking counselor who evidently thought it was a fine joke to send young women into job interviews dressed as lunatic nymphs and armed with resumes that smelled of laudanum.

In college in 1986, the Pre-Raphaelites were to me, I suppose, what the paranormal romance fad is to young women today. Mysterious. Ethereal. Romantic. Not a little self-absorbed. And a whole lot of bat shit crazy. Damsels in distress and distressing damsels.
As Jan Marsh contends in The Pre-Raphaeilte Sisterhood, the romance and attention surrounding these women tended "both to glorify them, raising them like Hollywood film stars above the level of ordinary mortals into a mythic realm of tragic heroines and fatal sirens, and paradoxically to diminish them, reducing their real, complex, contradictory personalities and lives to flat figures in a fantasy landscape and taking away from them all sense of active life." 

I took a few Women's Studies classes about the same time. And I dyed my hair red. I wrote a lot of very un-rhyming poetry, smoked clove cigarettes, and was generally impossible to date. I used the word "mundane" to excess and with great meaning. 

I may have memorized entire stanzas of Christina Georgiana Rossetti's Goblin Market.

You a monologue. For theater class.

To which a person could justifiably say "Oh, c'mon now....please. And really."

But this was all way before confessional blogs and online personality projects.

And aren't you glad?

Good lord...I know I am.


Karen Jensen said...

I love Goblin Market! Now I must read it again! said...

It's a very, very sensuous poem, what with the globes of fruit and dripping juices. Fun to read out loud while eating persimmons. Although, grapes will do.

MommyTime said...

I don't even know where to start because I love this post so much. First, you will probably not be surprised to learn that I recognized the cover of that book from the thumbnail on FB, which only included a part of the golden scrolling art on the green background. Second, I am teaching "Goblin Market" next week. No lie. I love that poem like crazy. Third, I cannot even being to express how much I love the image of you in college with dyed hair and too much blase in your voice, taking back the power for those poor killed-into-art muses of the 19th century.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Goblin Market was just about the only think I liked out of that lit class. You're such an as-yet undiscovered gem (by a wide-enough audience). Do you read O Mighty Crisis by Jocelyn Philaja? She's also an undiscovered genius as is Jenn Sattern of Breed 'Em and Weep. Some editor ought to put the lot of you together and get a kick-ass collection of essays.

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