I can't remember where I first read it, but I once came across something by Virginia Woolf in which she claimed that the ideal way of recording one's progress over an extended period of time would be to read and write a personal reaction to Hamlet once a year. I remember thinking that this was a really great idea, and that I'd get around to doing it just as soon as I could figure out what to use in place of Hamlet. Not that I have anything against it - but it just didn't really seem quite right. The chosen book would have to be something I didn't love or hate, but could appreciate, could feel some sort of emotional investment in, you know?
Right now I'm giving thought to rereading Sense and Sensibility and it is making me think of the first time I read it three summers ago, foggy and convalescing on the livingroom couch, waiting for the stitches in my hand to mend so I could get back to daydreaming about college. I liked it in the same way I like Emily Dickinson's poetry, the same way I like certain old silent films that are beautiful but make you feel a bit impatient.
Now I am older and wiser but still very impatient. What is different, though, is that back then I thought Elinor was so painfully dull and stuffy, so abnormally reserved. What is the point of a heroine who lives so internally, whose heart can break so quietly that no one else hears it?
Thinking about it all this time, I am not nearly frustrated by her ability to keep dangerous emotions out of sight; really, I just sort of envy it.
It is possible that today I will purchase it, and quite possible that I will commit to writing a personal reaction.
Also: I keep finding that I've bookmarked some awfully weird sites:
The International Cemetery Postcard Museum
Who Is That With Jeremy?
Ice Hotel Canada