When I saw a piece of art that I loved, I felt a tremendous desire to....use it, to transform it myself, to incorporate it into myself, and because I had no way to do this, I ended up feeling somehow thwarted...I asked myself..."Why do I feel such a fierce attraction to it?" One key lesson I've learned...is to pay close attention to any flame of enthusiasm.
Thus writes Gretchen Rubin in Happier at Home. I could write blog posts for days and days starting with quotes I love from this book. There are few people who speak my language the way Rubin does, and few people who inspire my writing the way hers does.
I identify strongly with the "fierce attraction" Rubin describes, but not toward pieces of art. My attraction is to words. I find words to be the thing in life that I have no words for. My heart aches with love for words arranged in just the right way, for words that have the power to penetrate to the eternal part of me.
I have suffered, as Rubin does, with knowing what to do with something I feel a tremendous desire toward. How do I make the words part of me? How do I ingest them? How do I take them in? How do I become them, or let them become me?
It is my habit to read Alexander McCall Smith, always on Kindle, and highlight my favorite lines (right now I'm reading My Italian Bulldozer). I copy those quotes in my commonplace book. I read Anne Lamott, always the real books that I have to own, and underline with vigor (right now I'm reading Hallelujah Anyway). I copy those quotes in my commonplace book too. I read Gretchen Rubin and Lauren Winner and Robert Benson and Annie Dillard and others, and still others, and their words that I love live on as I copy them in my commonplace book.
I haven't found another way, except to copy the words, to read them over and over, and plain and simple, to know they're there. It is one of my greatest joys in life to love words this much, and to honor them with my love and to know they are as solid as the wooden chair I'm sitting on as I write.