"All that was left was this anguished heart, eager to live, rebelling against the deadly order of the world that had been with him for forty years, and still struggling against the wall that separated him from the secret of all life, wanting to go farther, to go beyond, and to discover, discover before dying, discover at last in order to be, just once to be, for a single second, but forever."

-Albert Camus The First Man

I was going back and forth between reading this novel and writing a letter to a friend who is living in France for the year. This passage jumped out at me because it manages to capture what we are both going through in our lives. We are both alone, somewhere new, capturing new feelings about what it means to be alive. Like any meager twenty-something, we want to be able to touch the world while simultaneously grasping our understanding of it.

I first read Letters to a Young Poet my freshman year of college, perhaps before then but I can't seem to recall. I have been thinking about Rilke a lot lately, and how 3/4 of my copy of the book is underlined with stars next to passages that said more about me than I wanted to know about myself. You can't do this on a Kindle. There's no history, no smells, nothing that says PERSONAL...unless you shell out the $29.99 for a designer imposter case.

I like to remember what I was thinking when I read these books that I tried to make my own. Where was I in my life, WHO was in my life, how I saw myself...

Certain records/songs have this affect as well, but that's the point right? Films, books, records matter so much to us because they act as memory triggers. Even if it means remembering someone who broke your heart, you know there was something you used to love about them. More often though we remember the bad. It took me a long time to stop hating the f*cking smiths so much.


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