“I don’t know what that means. To truly live.’…
‘To find work that you love and work harder than other men. To learn languages of the earth, and love the sounds of the words and the things they describe. To love food and music and drink. Fully love them. To love weather, and storms, and the smell of rain. To love heat. To love cold. To love sleep and dreams. To love the newness of each day.’
He stared at his hands.
‘To love women. To pleasure them. To make them laugh. To be foolish for them. To respect them. To listen to them’ He paused. ‘They are the lifegivers. To live is to love them’
‘You will see,’ he said. ‘The proof will be in your living”
― Pete Hamill, Forever
Forever is one of those books that I’ve come back to a few times, and I celebrate the magic Pete Hamill weaves into the novel. We must weave magic into our own lives, mustn’t we? Books do that for us, even when the world itself doesn’t always measure up.
I’ve returned to reading the stack of fiction that’s been mocking my time with business and history books. I give a nod here to Forever, but my attention is on novels new to me that spin their own magic. Perhaps I’ll quote them in the blog, but certainly I’ll learn something from each writer’s style. What is your writing style? And is there enough magic weaved in to transform the reader?
The central character in Forever is a man named Cormac O’Connor who comes to New York City and lives forever as long as he doesn’t leave the island of Manhattan. When you live forever you get a chance to accumulate experiences and languages, master a musical instrument or two, navigate a few relationships from beginning to end, and reinvent yourself every new day. There’s joy and pain inherent in watching people come and go in your life, there’s accumulated wisdom of bringing each day’s lesson home with you.
You and I won’t live forever. But we too can accumulate our share of experiences and celebrate the newness of each day. We too can weave magic into our lives. Ultimately, the proof will be in our living.