Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sexing the Cherry

Ah Jeanette Winterson, you slay me every time.

I admit, our first meeting didn't leave a lasting impression – I was too young to read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. I didn't even get that the main character was a lesbian until much, much later.

And then came college and The 24-Hour Dog. That story is still with me. Sometimes I go back to my tattered photocopy and read it again to be dazzled by the sheer luminosity of your prose.

Even when I found Art and Lies too obfuscating, I didn't give up on you. And I glad that I didn't. You bowled me over with Gut Symmetries. And now, Sexing the Cherry, which is my new favorite book.

It's been used so often that it's become a cliché, but this time, my mind was truly blown. I've been fascinated with theoretical physics for a long time, even before I read Gut Symmetries. But the idea that the journey within our own depths is greater than any trip we could ever take is astounding.

Too, I think, you've taught me to think about love more maturely. I'm a romantic. I gave a presentation on soulmates in highschool. I fell head over heels in infatuation with someone before I even saw his face. I stared at someone across a table at a crowded canteen and got him to follow me outside.

But, I think that while it's important not to let go of the idealism and the romance of the first full flush of love, it's also important to keep one foot on the ground. Sometimes we don't end up with the people whom we love, because of distance, wrong timing, or other circumstances. Sometimes our childhood sweetheart leaves us. Sometimes we settle.

But always, always, there is love to comfort and sustain us, whether it's from a lover, a mother, or a close friend. As Ray Bradbury said, "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything,"

I still believe that.

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