Sometimes, before I sleep, I would grab a book off the shelf beside me – a book I have read before, and flip to any random page, just for some light reading to relax my over-active mind.
A few nights ago, I picked out ‘Elegance of the Hedgehog”, and my eyes fell on this paragraph, which immediately captured my mind like never before (so much for light-reading).
This pause in time, within time…when did I first experience the exquisite sense of surrender that is possible only with another person? The peace of mind one experiences on one’s own, one’s certainty of self in the serenity of solitude, are nothing in comparison to the release and openness and fluency one shares with another, in close companionship…
And I thought of how, as much as I enjoy my own company, to a certain extent, being on our own too much, having to be on the lookout for yourself all the time, may make one into an overly-cautious person.
With the few close friends I have, being with them, as we go through the ups and downs of life, as we develop our relationship with each other, one conversation, one insight at a time, does give me a sense of relief and surrender. The knowledge that we can look out for each other, that we need not bear our burdens alone, that we can always count on the other to be there, gives another dimension to life that one might not be able to experience in solitude.
And then I slowly floated to sleep, with prayers and hopes for the happiness of all my close companions 🙂
I am going to attempt to write about my experience with this book.
If I sound hesitant, it’s because I am.
I am hesitant about how to bring across the amazing feeling of affinity and love I have for the characters in this book.
This is a rare read, one which I took almost a month, maybe more, to read, because I really wanted to understand what each character was saying, and what every line meant.
And there were so many beautiful lines… too many to count.
“an always within never”
“the timeless nature of consonance”
“the future exists so that we may build our present”
“we live each day as if it were merely a rehearsal for the next”
“tea makes time sublime”
“an endless monologue of consciousness”
and the list goes on.
Each chapter is relatively short and concise (with the shortest chapter being only one sentence long), but leaves so many profound thoughts to think about that I felt the need to pause for awhile after every chapter to ponder the points given.
And I love it.
I love Paloma’s morbid, cynical and frustrated view of the world, something which I think I sometimes have as well.
I love Renée’s sarcasm and self-deprecatory humor.
I love how everything comes together at the end, in a tragic yet beautiful ending.
This definitely ranks together with 1Q84, on my to-be-read-again list.
For beauty is true, timeless, and everlasting.