Saturday, May 26, 2012
How beautifully said this is. And how some of the world's greatest writers have marveled over just this: that the written word or art is, perhaps, the only tangible way to achieve immortality, to leave your "Kilroy was here" for all to see, if only they will find you.
Another thing about books that never ceases to amaze me is how the best ones hold layers and layers of meaning--you can reread certain books across decades of your life and see things you didn't see before; you grow into certain books. Also remarkable is how little human beings have changed over time. We laugh at the same bawdy jokes; we grieve over deaths (will humans ever find peace with the idea of death?); we fall in love; we struggle with jealousy, our darker impulses such as selfishness and greed; and over and over, we learn how many of us are absolutely at our most noble, our best, when we face a crisis or suffer. Or, how some of us fall prey to our basest natures.
Books are snapshots of the human condition. They teach us empathy by taking us on a tour into the recesses of the human heart.