A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help.

A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help.

As far as I know, I have always been so normal, and in a sense of sprinkled glitter, I have too thought that I'm a good daughter, and perhaps a person. Yet I realized that I took that egocentric conclusion up on my own with no real life experience basis. I think that I am not eligible to call myself 'good' without ever being anything but what I thought was 'good'. However, after finished reading 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt, I think now that one is not eligible to call oneself anything, to put a label into something that we have no control of.

I have always thought that I have a broader sense of tolerance because I have never called anyone names or judged anyone by rumors or what they have done, only for what they are to me. Unfortunately, tolerance is tolerance, it is not understanding and accepting. I have never thought of why people do what they do, bad or good. The reasons of why they drink, do drugs, fool around, or succumbed themselves into violence and crimes, I have never think of and yet I dare put up my own name into a shelf along with tolerant people, letting people do what they like from the higher up, without seemingly to judge but judging anyway because you can never judge people if you're equal. I'm walking with shame because I only realize this now, after reading a fucking book. 

Let's review it on a broader view, instead of personal. Donna Tartt, I think, have written the conversations with so much character. Every remark, every thought, crafted upon that tale of a painting, has memories and emotions so beautifully enhanced in every weave of words. And yet somehow, we can never quite understand the characters intimately and personally, so there's a certain mystery to them. Aside from the narrator, the main character of Theodore Decker, we never know why the characters do the things they do, as blindly as the main character, who is trying to figure this all out along with the readers of the book. And I think it beautiful and magic that with the tale of one character, one life, formed from his experience as a child, through to the adolescent part of his life, and finally into his solid yet fragile adult life, we could finally came upon one conclusion that basically put everything together in the end. All through this book,  you will experience blindness, numbness, cluelessness, like going through a fogged up road with dimming light, together with the main character, experiencing what he's experiencing without having no control over his actions, you are dragged through into something of a cold yet refreshing breath of a wind, in which all the fogs are lifted up, revealing this world that have always been there but never looked clearly upon, along with the colors that brought everything to life. And you will, I promise, close the book with a new sense of understanding of the people around you, and of course, yourself. 

The last few pages were perhaps the map of the whole book, I can make much more sense of the last few pages than most of the first three parts of the book. Because you can look into everything with an adult perspective, as you are growing with the main character. I truly recommend this book for anyone who is, not only, looking for a deeper understanding of fate, death, and life-time artworks, but also for humanity and why people want what they want, despite knowing that life is indeed short and everything is, as you understand it profoundly, inevitable.

What's to say? Great paintings - people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they're reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in  the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then  go out and have some lunch. But - if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don't think, 'oh, I love this picture because it's universal.' 'I love this painting  because it speaks to all mankind.' That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. And individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty's dream, Verneer's ream. You see one painting, I see another, the art  book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that's not even to mention the people separated from us by time - four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we're gone - it'll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it'll never strike in any deep way at all but - a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And - oh, I don't know, stop me if I'm rambling.. but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn't be an object. It'd be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Hobie from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


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