Today, life feels a little bit like that Dali painting. Time has morphed and no longer has meaning; I have made another step from chronos to kairos. Maybe this is because I haven’t made full use of these last few years, at least not in the conventional way. I’ve soaked a lot in and seen more things than I ever want to see.
If adulthood means no longer seeing life through rose-colored glasses, then I’m not sure I want it. The responsibilities haven’t scared me; the way I see life now does, no matter how desperately I try to romanticize things. I think the scariest thing anyone can go through is to see someone for who they really are, with ugliness and the hatred simmering inside.
As much as I loved The Scarlet Letter in high school, I understand it now with a depth that can only be achieved through experience. Hawthorne made sense of his ancestors’ past the only way he could: through writing. He expresses a sentiment similar to this through Hester:
She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.
And doesn’t that sum up oppression (and repression). In its most subtle, pointed forms, it goes on, unnoticed by the oppressed.
I think that these years shaped me in unusual ways, maybe giving me glimpses of life that I wasn’t able to handle or process well at the time. This is why I write now, to make sense of it all. All pasts, the ones that occurred and the ones that might have occurred, are deceptive, giving a musty, nostalgic feel that didn’t exist at the time. Hawthorne gives a remedy for these feelings:
No summer ever came back, and no two summers ever were alike. Times change, and people change; and if our hearts do not change as readily, so much the worse for us.
PS. Please excuse me if this has too maudlin a tone! I am feeling very pleasant today, full of delicious and unapproved foods. Since I am at 35% of my goal and since it’s my birthday tomorrow, I am going to eat until I feel sick!!
PPS. Btw, I’m a little scared that this painting actually makes sense to me now… For those of you who don’t know, it’s called “The Persistence of Memory”.