3.21.2012

everything was beautiful and nothing hurt

I read all of Slaughterhouse Five in the Hawaii airport. I was waiting for Kevin, and his plane was delayed, and they didn't even have anywhere for me to sit. I am not joking I sat on the floor for four hours, and I had nothing else to do but I had a copy of Slaughterhouse Five so I read the entire thing in one very sore and uncomfortable sitting. 

It is a blend of reality and science fiction, and the reality you can't really trust anyway and no one can actually trust science fiction (I mean really?) and Billy Pilgrim is so sad and pathetic and if you didn't hate war before you started it you will hate it afterwards. 

When Kevin's flight finally got in I was confused about what place I was in, why I was there, and how we humans became people who would kill each other (these are really all things you think about after finishing it).

Sometimes my life starts to feel numb and I think of that quote I read on the airport floor, "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt" that Vonnegut dangled in there. I ask myself sometimes, "Why do I pretend that everything is beautiful and nothing ever hurts me?"

I think we need more honesty not for each other I guess but for ourselves, because a lot of things can make you happy but even more can make you sad if you let them. It is the consciousness of the choice that makes us real and actually alive.

There are a lot of things I want to be in this life and one of them is sincere. Because of that, I am learning to let myself feel it all without shame. Not because I crave emotion, but because I want to be consciously here on this earth.

7 comments:

Ana Magdalena said...

"It is the consciousness of the choice that makes us real and actually alive." -I love this line!

I have been giving a lot of thought to what you wrote, to what it means to be sincere. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

So beautifully written.

Jessica Collins said...

Vonnegut is my very favorite author, bar none, so this post compelled me. My favorite line in S5 is: when you stop taking care of yourself, you die. He has such an acute sense of human nature, motivations and dispositions. You should read Cat's Cradle too. Amazing! I am not a huge science fiction or war story reader, but Vonnegut captures my attention every. single. time. Love your post!

annie said...

Beautiful thoughts, as usual. Have you read "Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner? He addresses a similar point when the main character's wife admits at the end of a rather long, up-and-down day that she prefers to remember the day with both kinds of memories: the bitter and the sweet. The hurts and the pains are as important as the beauty; it's so crucial to experience -- truly experience -- both. (I highly recommend "Crossing to Safety" if you haven't read it. Brilliant, true writing.)

kate said...

I have been thinking about this so much lately, too. I just read an article that essentially stated that constant happiness and optimism creates false memory. And that sadness, longing and regret create truth. That sounds cynical, but I think it's true. Obviously we cannot have the truly happy without knowing the truly sad, but without regret and sadness how would we change? How would we need the atonement? How would we form a relationship with Christ? Still, having so much sadness sounds exhausting, but I think there is the right type of sadness. I would rather feel it all then feel nothing at all or feel a false happiness.

Oof, sorry, this is long but one more thing I love and always remember... Viktor Frankl said "despair is suffering without meaning"

Happy deep thoughts for a Friday! :)

Erin said...

I just read Slaughterhouse Five this past January and loved it. There were so many lines I marked that I just want all of society to hear.

AshCall said...

Mandy, I loved this anecdote and how you connected it to feeling. I don't think there is anything more important than feeling--the good and the bad.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

There is such a balance isn't there? To feel all the emotions, without letting any of them dominate you for too long a period of time.