February 12, 2013

Not A Model Weekly Mantra - Anais Nin

I remember in university the panicked feeling of having to highlight passages in books for essays and exams. I was gently teased by my friends for being an over-zealous highlighter, pretty much deeming every other sentence as "important."

It is nice to get away from that anxious feeling when reading, and I don't remember the last time I really folded a page or wrote in one of my books, until recently. I've been reading The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume One. Nin was an American author and most famous for her diaries where she documented her personal relationships in a candid way that was rare for a woman of that time. Marked as a leader in feminism, her diaries are absorbing and relateable despite the time period. Volume One marks her experience living in Louveciennes, France and while I'm not finished it yet, I'm hooked.

I marked this quote down instantly after reading it. I even took a photo of it with my phone (the new way of "highlighting") and have come back to it ever since.

This week's mantra is a bit unnerving and sticks with you, long after you're done reading. 

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.” (Anais Nin)

For more passages from Anais, click here.