Today I read a book while holding a fountain pen. I often have a pen in my hand when I read. I am trying to fool myself into thinking I am writing when I am not. I read with a pen in my hand because it helps me think. If I underline a sentence, I temporarily own it. It’s mine. I have bought real estate in this book, laid down stakes, moved in. This does not mean I remember where I live. I turn the page. I lose my place.
Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock (2015), p. 181-182
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Leo Tolstoy tells the story of a greedy man named, Pahom, who was obsessed by amassing more and more land. One day he learned of a wonderful and unusual opportunity to get more land. For only 1,000 rubles he could have the entire area that he could walk around in a day, but he had to make it back to the starting point by the sunset or he would lose everything that he invested.
He arose early and set out. He walked on and on thinking that he could get just a little more land if he kept straining forward for the prize he sought, but he went so far that he realized he must walk very fast if he was going to get back to the starting point and claim the land. As the sun set lower in the sky, he quickened his pace. He began to run. He came within sight of the finishing goal and exerted his last energies plunging over the finish line, falling to the ground, dead.
His servant took a spade and dug a grave. He made it just long enough and just wide enough to match Pahom’s body and buried him. Here’s the title Tolstoy gave his story: “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” He ends this short story with this line: “Six feet from his head to his heels was all that man needed”.
Say what you want about the Smiths, but stuff like this just proves they’re great parents. She will be able to be so adventurous as she gets older with no fear. It’s amazing how much of a difference something as simple as being in control of her own hair style makes a difference in a young girl and woman’s life–in anyone’s life actually–I just don’t think it’s nearly as serious for guys.
Willow is going to grow up to be a respectable, empowered young woman.