Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yes, but...

"Yes, there is death in this business of whaling--a speechlessly quick chaotic bundling of a man into Eternity. But what then? Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Methinks my body is but the less of my better being. In fact, take my body who will, take it I say, for it is not me." ~from Moby Dick

How many ways can I procrastinate working on my paper? I don't know why it is so difficult this time 'round. So now I'm taking a break. And I was thinking today that, now that I'm reading "Moby Dick" and enjoying it so much, I ought to include quotes from it in my blog, because so many things about this Melville masterpiece have struck me while reading it.

I liked this passage because I've found that as I grow older, I care less about my body. That's not to say I don't exercise and brush my teeth--what I mean is that I don't stress out about things like whether my hair is curly or straight or if I've got a lot of freckles on my arms. Someone asked me the other day if I missed being a teenager and I very quickly said no! I like being an adult and feeling comfortable in my skin, unconcerned with how others may perceive my looks. I used to perm my hair and wear tanning lotion in the hopes of looking like a "popular girl" at school. In reality, I just had overly frizzy hair and orange legs. Now I see that all different kinds of bodies are beautiful, and I understand that it is what's on the inside that counts. Not to be all cliche and sappy, or anything. But do you know what I mean?

"Oh I see now" as Whitman would say. I see now that I must perfect my spirit and not necessarily my body, because my spirit is the true me, the part that will last beyond the grave. Now the question remains, does perfecting my spirit include writing a good term paper?


Anonymous said...

Reading your blog, and seeing that you like reading, I wonder if I could suggest a title to you? "Outcasts of Skagaray" is a novel which sets out to show that people have value even though they do not match a theoretical ideal. To know more about it, check www.threeswans.com.au I would be interested to hear what you think of it.

Lady Holiday said...

Sorry, I only read books that I come across by accident in my Harlem branch library. And I do hope you aren't using my blog as a commercial for your book!