Thoughts on The Goldfinch

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The goldfinch is the most remarkable novel I have picked up in recent memory. The daunting 771 pages made it seem like I would never finish, never know what happens to Theo and perhaps more curiously, to the painting. I thought the narration in this book was what gave it its brilliance from the start. I was immediately immersed in Theo’s world and with the turn of every page enchanted by the characters and the city of New York. Theo, and his friends (and guardian) Andy, Boris, and Hobie couldn’t have been more different but were all such key characters to the story. They came and went as the author saw fit and that was the brilliance of this novel. Just like the painting “disappeared” from the museum and then reappeared after quite a journey, people appeared and reappeared in Theo’s life, fleeting moments in a coming of age story for the ages. The loss of Theo’s mother forever haunted him and I believe it caused his downward spiral. And despite his father’s behavior that loss also stunned him. I don’t know who is to blame for the unbelievable drug use in this novel, however I believe Theo and Boris used drugs to numb their minds from reality. What that left me with was Theo’s reality. Maybe I should be incredibly disturbed by this book, but Theo’s story broke my heart and I was truly hoping that he and Pippa would have a happy ending. However, I have heard from someone wise, that sometimes people with jagged edges cut each other until they both shatter. Therefore, The was no way that they could be together and Pippa makes that point herself. This novel shocked me but also made me consider how cruel life can be. I wonder only, how Theo and his life go forward after the events that unfolded in Europe and how despite his travel and unknown status of engagement, how is Theo really feeling inside?

Born a Crime Reflection

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Every time I picked this book up to continue it, it was like reuniting with an old friend that I wanted to learn more about, although I wished I never had to put it down. Sitting in the train station, I read the first 86 pages and as I heard the train approaching I quickly planned my next free moment to continue this reading endeavor: I simply couldn’t wait. Trevor Noah is astonishingly brilliant in how he chose to let us in his world and narrate to us a window into his world, complicated by many things from skin color and the poverty that unfortunately went along with it. A world that would have caused many to lose their way, but Trevor was resilient and his mother helped instill good values in him, despite how poorly behaved he often was. In many ways, I feel this book is a love letter. A love letter to Trevor’s mom. A love letter to his friends and mostly, a love letter to all the parts of his childhood that challenged him and helped him thrive during a time when he wasn’t meant to. The apatherid meant he wasn’t supposed to thrive. And as we saw with his “hulk” friend from jail, the end of the apartheid meant disadvantaged people were forced to steal to feed their families. This book really showed me a perspective I haven’t seen before and I was truly lucky that this book was chosen to be read. I was astounded by what I learned about South Africa. It was fascinating but also very sad to hear. The slaughter and mistreatment of people was shocking to me. The comparison made to Hitler and how there weren’t numbers to account for the deaths like there were in the Holocaust brought a chill down my spine. I could jump around from subject to subject trying to explain all the reasons that I loved this book. The biggest reason is I fell in love with the story. Trevor allowed me in. His raw feelings were all brought to the surface, especially his mother being shot at the end. A relationship changes when someone that you care about lets you fully in and lets you get to know them on their terms. And that’s exactly what Trevor did. Trevor Noah let me into his world, sharing with me and all of us about life’s lessons, and how black, white, colored, or whatever we were, we are all human and deserving of love. And deserving of a good life. Trevor taught me that, and by allowing me into his world, introduced me to a way of examining one’s life that I will never forget.

Sensationalism

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The media of shocking information
The exaggeration of images
Confuse and fascinate at the same time.

Then there is love.
The paradox of love and being loved
I have loved with my whole heart
Now my heart is filled with holes
The not being loved back was so painful
The accusations of never caring were the worst
I at least wanted him to know I loved him
That would be enough
It would have to be.
But, it was not meant to be.

For now I have sensations of love towards things like coffee.
Or my family.
Or God.
Friends, Shimer, and Falafel, all sensational things.
They are different times for, different types of sensation
All senses are involved

Trying to awake from a deep sleep
Trying to come back from a dream
Trying to escape slumber and excite my real senses
My brain and body want different things
One waits stillness, the other wants movement
Struggling to wake up
The shock of no longer dream land
A most odd sensation …

When my heart shreds

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Two years of trying
Two years of flirting
Two years of skirting the issue
Of us
Now I’m through
Now I’ve poured out my heart to you
Which I should have done from the start
Which would have saved me agony, burning, self-loathing
My heart burst because of it all
My anger rose when you didn’t have the guts to explain why
Why didn’t you try?
I tried so hard it obliterated rational thought
I was hoping that the last time it healed
I was hoping that was real
Instead it ruptures
Instead it shreds
Now I’m going to move move forward
Now I’m going to move ahead
For a while longer though the pain will linger
For a while I’ll weep because I feel like a fool
Pain is making me insane
I’ll have to heal again
Pick up the dislodged pieces
Mend a broken heart
Go back to start
Until then it’s shreds
Shreds of what never was
No blame
No game
I’m looking for a healing feeling
My mind is reeling
Slowing though, I’m peeling away at the emotions
Until the commotions cease
Only then will I find peace
Then the pain will lessen
And joy will increase
The next time I pour my heart into someone
Maybe they will return my feelings
I would look for him
And he will look for me
And together we’ll see
It was all worth it
In the End.

When the Soul Cries

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It’s is the body really omitting all the tears, at first

It’s shaking violently, sobbing

It’s a deep puncturing cry that the soul feels and reacts to

The soul squirms at first, it cannot handle the pain the body feels.

The soul in its wisdom tries to comfort the body, doing everything it can to relax the body, stop the agony.

It calms it strokes the body trying to make the pain flow away.

It does not always work and chaos ensues.

So the soul begins to cry along lacking in its comfort, causing the cry

To be an entire other level of pain, hurt, despondence.

The pain becomes unbearable as the body and soul are both under attack at the same moment.

It’s upsetting and when it finally ends

The soul now has a deep mark

One that over time heals, sometimes…

Broken static: Will you change your mind?

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The want of you
The constant swarming thoughts of you
The warming of my heart when you laugh
The warmth of your words
Washing over me

It
It rotated inside me
It rolled and rolled
It verged on too much

But once I asked you
Once I was honest with myself
And you in turn were honest with me
The static inside my brain burst

And the thoughts that followed
Swam through my mind
All night long

I like you
And you like me
But I like like you
And you just like me

Will you change your mind?
You make my waiting feel shorter
But should I do that?
Should I wait?