Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is my favourite link on the internet right now, of all the links I know.
I might spend the day restarting White Oleander, in between working the lunch shift and going out to sushi for dinner with a couple pals of mine.
Thank you to Christina, for uncovering within me an actual need to re-read this novel. I've read half, and I need to begin it again.

If you could adapt the characteristics (mental, physical) of ANY fictional character, which one would you choose, and why? It can be from a book, movie, play etc.

This has taken me 3 months to answer, FYI. I think I'm going to have to choose Astrid from Janet Fitch's White Oleander. Every time I watch White Oleander, or think about how I've read only half of the novel (due to moving away to school and getting repeatedly sucked into textbooks and required novels), I melt, thinking about Astrid, and not only her as an individual, but the relationship she holds and then thoroughly explores, once enlightened, with her mother. Astrid starts off almost over sheltered by her mother and her mother's consistently cold but comforting compliments and reassuring statements such as "You are my daughter, and you are perfect" and "We don't cry, we're the vikings." In a sense, I'd like to adapt that strange feeling derived from a parent to child relationship, only I know how the story turns out, and how she goes against her mother's statements and methods of upbringing eventually, so I think it would be interesting to adapt this feeling, knowing that I'll soon break out of it all. I'd like to adapt that feeling/characteristic(?) of that relationship to experience the common and yet unique sort of enlightenment Astrid goes through. It begins with doubting (at last) her mother, exploring herself, changing herself, changing her surroundings and adapting to them in ways she pleases, being different, but having her constant self within her all the while, however minimized or foggy at times. This is the sort of enlightenment I've experienced since moving out of my house last fall, and moving out and away from this cozy little nest of a shelter, even when it wasn't so cozy. It was always comfortable, and I needed to rid the comfort for once in my life, and "get out of my element," as I always called it while journalling. I got out of my element, and felt the changes when returning to the nest; Burlington, in general. It was rewarding and so exhilarating, knowing that I changed a little bit every time I left again after a weekend home or Christmas break, back to school. Being home also always changed me a little as well, because I always expected the stress to subside for a relaxing weekend at home, but never, ever expected the amount of relief I received while at home, almost every single time, due to friendships and conversations and really, really meaningful moments that I wouldn't change or forget, ever. Rooting back to the actual question, I'd like to adapt that feeling that Astrid felt, and sort of already have I suppose, now that I've played with the question a little and got a touch off topic and into a little side tangent(s!). I've experienced what Astrid has in the sense of pushing myself off the edge willingly, thriving within the uncertainty, and the oleanders. I've experienced the relief that Astrid has, and the peace in chaos, and the uncomfortable feelings within that neat form of comfort. That's what I think I look for, subconsciously for, but now aware of the fact that it was subconsciously, so I suppose I now consciously search for those instances of peace in chaotic situations and places. That's what I think Astrid does, maybe a little more so towards the middle and end of the novel than the beginning. At first, her and her mother both maintain that calm and collected composure, inner perfection and inner, as well as outer beauty, not really knowing what the missing puzzle pieces or scrapes and wounds were really about or what that really meant. Towards the middle, Astrid gets fucked over, essentially, unwillingly. And it's there where she learns to, well, deal. And not just dealing by scraping by, but by fucking loving and holding tight, the chaos, close to her heart and refreshed daily in her mind and her memory.

"Remember it all, every insult, every tear. Tattoo it on the inside of your mind. In life, knowledge of poisons is essential. I've told you, nobody becomes an artist unless they have to." ~ Janet Fitch

It's this that I've learned about and played with and learned to love, unconditionally, despite how shitty it all is. Life is life and life is good, even when it's not.

No comments:

Post a Comment