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Passion is Patience

[audio:http://dreamlandapparel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/12-Openmind-Expedition.mp3|titles=DJ Troublemaker - Openmind Expedition]

Once upon a time I started a book club. My intention: to trade literary likes with friends interested in the same. Though that inner circle eventually fractured, my love for sharing the printed word endured.

I recently discussed this in a blog about streetcar bookworms and the novels I’ve enjoyed in transition. Today I’d like to delve a little deeper into two books in particular. Both were pro-cured via preferred means, that of recommendations. Although the two titles were as different as can be there was a thread that tied them together… me.

The role of the reader is far more important than one may at first assume. Certainly the writer is the most valued member in the world of print. However, with no audience to view it, such a world would cease to spin. Thus, with the importance of the inquisitive eye established let us get down to its uses.

Just as the writer brings their personality to their prose, so too does the reader bring theirs to every page. Every book is different to every individual, and to the same individual on a different day. Even prior to the printed press, when reading was strictly an oral affair, the crowd absorbed the material with the sponge inside their skull. That same squishy substance soaks up scattered letters today with no need for audio. It consumes them, along with all other data, and the bits interact in the most interesting ways.

For example, for almost two months my eyes scanned through the lines of “Love in a Time of Cholera.” This Pulitzer Prize winning novel is the story of Florintino Ariza and his quest for Fermina Daza. For over fifty years he waited to attain her. And though time and circumstance seemed to spell failure for nearly twenty thousand days, he endured with faith.

After completing that poetic narrative I picked up a devilish tome titled, “House of Leaves.” Certainly one of the most creative pieces of writing I have ever come across, Leaves is the story of a family’s plight as observed by two different authors. The story begins with the family moving to the suburbs in hopes of saving their troubled relationship. Instead they embark upon a hellish journey through an abyss of unimaginable black.

So what do a Spanish romance and an American horror have in common? Patience.

My mind drew this line thanks to knowledge gained outside the written word. Experience has taught me, and taught me often, that a life worth living is done so one moment at a time. Like Florentino I have a quest of my own; like Navy in House of Leaves I’ve been drawn into the darkness. On my own I’ve seen that the passion fueling both ventures demands the same patience. Not simply to wait it out, but to learn within this solitude the lessons which beg for my attention. Lessons I can only allude to, for they are the calm clarity words can not express.

To close I would like to include the quote from House of Leaves that inspired this blog idea:

Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, Passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.



  • Chris Elliott

    Cool piece dude. Nice to see you stepping out to something different. I very much dig the simple pleasures of reading, although as of recent these pleasures have been realized through magazines and blogs, rather than novels. Regrettably, my life has not been focused on the indulgence of literature, and in the future I hope to change that. I respect your passion, and in many ways envy it. 

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t always a big reader. It took 2 years in Africa without the pleasures of TV and radio to indulge in the art. Ever since then it is something I always have to do. I must be reading a book at least 6 days a week. I find it the most important exercise I can endeavor into. Right now I am reading George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.” I can’t wait to finish it and do a blog. 

    I also love me morning tweets about my 501 read.

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