Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When I have fears...

My life is significantly less anxiety prone than it once was. But when the gears of my brain turn, unable to sleep at night, (as they still do, and probably always will) the same single anxiety always returns to me. That even if I write all day, read all day, everyday for the rest of my life, I still won't get to everything I want to write and read. Statistically, it's true. Which makes the anxiety all the more severe. 

For example, I really miss reading the New Yorker every week. But sometimes, when I go to the website to try to catch up, I feel so overwhelmed, I just need to hit the eject button. 

NPR wrote about this very issue (just one of  the many, many, many reasons we should fund NPR) and what it means to be "well-read." As an impatient person, it was nice to see this in print: "It is the recognition that well-read is not a destination; there is nowhere to get to, and if you assume there is somewhere to get to, you'd have to live a thousand years to even think about getting there, and by the time you got there, there would be a thousand years to catch up on." And I'll just say, as daunting as it is, I'm going to keep culling. I'm not going to surrender. 

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! - then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

John Keats Posthumous and Fugitive Poems [Read the biographical context.]

1 comment:

Why Stop Now?

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