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Friday, July 22, 2011

Working Through It

The summer, she ain't been an easy one.
Both of our cars decided to give up the ghost.  We have bought one car, which is our sole means of transportation.
The swimming pool - I know complaining about having a swimming pool is like griping about caviar being too lumpy - continues to be an absolute drain on our bank account.
My oldest daughter is engaged, which, while in itself is thrilling news, Nancy and I looked at the price tag of the upcoming fete and quailed like unto... well... quail.
On top of this, something's been eating our tomatoes.
Life is hard.
I've been re-reading some of my favorite books and thinking how lovely it would be to have the sunshine and space to create that the great authors enjoyed.
So Albert Camus - he lived a charmed life if anyone did.  He'd written The Plague, The Fall, The Stranger and won the Nobel Prize when he was only 44.  Of course he died when he was 47.  He was born in poverty.  His father died when he was 1.  He contracted TB, he fought in the war.  OK, bad example.
Walker Percy.  Well, his grandfather shot himself.  So did his father.
David Foster Wallace.  OK, another bad example.
Laurence Sterne.  Tuberculosis.  Wife's mental illness.  Death at 54.  Miguel Cervantes.  Wounded in battle, held four years as a prisoner and slave in Algiers.
Not that hardship makes great writers, but hardship is the common bread of humanity.  There's a little something in this world for all of us, and a useless car and a drained bank account are pretty small beans compared to TB and depression.
I'll stop moaning, count my blessings, and get back to work.

1 comment:

  1. ...and then there was Lord Byron. Born to a wealthy, important family...but then his father deserted them, forcing his mother to sell everything and raise him as best she could. Then Byron's great uncle died and left him a title and an estate...and he lived a life of ease. A lover urged him to become a poet, which he did with no more trouble than it takes most people to get a job flipping burgers. He went to wild parties where he'd wench and wine till the wee hours...then stumble home rip-roaring looped. In his drunken stupors, he'd jot down a few verses and send them off. They'd be published to great acclaim, and he'd become even more famous.
    To escape criticism for his sexual scandals (including sodomy and incest), he went and fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek war for independence...and is revered in Greece as a national hero. He was apparently the absolute personification of the "bad boy" archetype, being described famously as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." His life was such that a literary character who is idealized but flawed is referred to as a "Byronic hero".

    But on the other hand...I'm sure he didn't have two cars, either.