Lightly Child, Lightly.

And maybe that’s better. It makes me feel that rather than worrying and theorising about the state of the world, which helps no one, I should put my energy into living and being happy. When I try to picture for myself what a happy life might look like, the picture hasn’t changed very much since I was a child—a house with flowers and trees around it, and a river nearby, and a room full of books, and someone there to love me, that’s all. Just to make a home there… Never to move, never to board a plane again, just to live quietly and then be buried in the earth. What else is life for?

Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 7, 2021)


Notes:

Comments

  1. Love the delicious stoicism of her sentiments, David… not unfeeling, but quite the opposite- leaning into what she’s experiencing while pining for a simpler life, free from the burdens of worry. I’ll have what she’s having!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You nailed it Daniel. The “not unfeeling, but quite the opposite.” Here she is again:

      “I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you before, but a few years ago, I started keeping a diary, which I called ‘the life book’. I began with the idea of writing one short entry each day, just a line or two, describing something good. I suppose by ‘good’ I must have meant something that made me happy or brought me pleasure. I went back to look at it the other day, and the early entries are all from that autumn, almost six years ago now. Dry upturned sycamore leaves scuttling like claws along the South Circular Road. The artificial buttered taste of popcorn in the cinema. Pale-yellow sky in the evening, Thomas Street draped in mist. Things like that. I didn’t miss a day through all of September, October, November that year. I could always think of something nice, and sometimes I would even do things for the purpose of putting them in the book, like taking a bath or going for a walk. At the time I felt like I was just absorbing life, and at the end of the day I never had to strain to think of anything good I had seen or heard. It just came to me, and even the words came, because my only aim was to get the image down clearly and simply so that I would later remember how it felt. And reading those entries now, I do remember what I felt, or at least what I saw and heard and noticed. Walking around, even on a bad day, I would see things—I mean just the things that were in front of me. People’s faces, the weather, traffic. The smell of petrol from the garage, the feeling of being rained on, completely ordinary things. And in that way even the bad days were good, because I felt them and remembered feeling them. There was something delicate about living like that—like I was an instrument and the world touched me and reverberated inside me.”

      — Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 7, 2021)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I hope there’s more to life than never moving or never boarding a plane again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My next read….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds perfect and enough

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We enjoy the simple life…We have a fulfilled life, Choosing to be content, Creates in us a Grateful Heart…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I stand in awe of Rooney’s talent. Every sentence just seems so right….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heard Maureen Corrigan’s review the other day and immediately added to my queue…

    https://www.npr.org/2021/09/09/1035494728/beautiful-world-is-sally-rooneys-toughest-most-sweeping-novel-to-date

    Liked by 1 person

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