31 Jul
Posted in: Books
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Today I/Me/My….

Today I am getting ready for the arrival of my friend, Jill, who is coming from Singapore, and for the party I am giving in her honor — a reunion of the book club I used to host, of which Jill was a member.

We’ll be party-ing and reunion-ing, but also discussing a book I selected, which I’ve found inspiring (but also distressing): The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits. (I posted previously about it here.)

The book has 92 short chapters, each headed by a date (but not listed in chronological order), and each beginning with “Today…”

For example:
June 21. Today I wondered What is the worth of a day?
March 3. Today my friend asked me, “Am I crazy?”
July 29. Today I was reading The Men’s Club, by a California writer, now dead, named Leonard Michaels.
July 18. Today, or rather tonight, my husband and I will be watching “The Men Tell All.”
August 2. Today I was stung by a wasp.

Of course, there’s much more to each chapter/day than just that one sentence. Each “today” is an opening to what turns out to be quite compelling little narrative essays — mental ramblings, beautifully crafted — which overlap, reflect and sometimes reshape each other…and which we, as readers, hold together in our minds as the “I” of the one who is doing the telling.

Which is how we do it, too, for ourselves. We create a sense of our “self” by telling the “story” of our “self” — to our “self.” (That’s what that near-constant monologue that’s going on in our heads is doing.)

Ask yourself this: Who is saying all that stuff you find yourself thinking? Who’s listening to it? And who’s believing it?


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