Now that I finally have a little time in my life, we’re going to talk about Paper Towns.
There were many things that stuck out to me from that book. It’s funny, it’s interesting, it’s thought provoking and it’s deep. But one thing that really struck me was how it looked at the idea of people. About how we love the idea of people and get upset when they’re not what we expected.
What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person.
The main girl, Margo (who’s a lot like Alaska in the way she is) talks about paper towns and paper people. About how fake people can be.
People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. And the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know? Because it’s kind of great, being an idea that everybody likes. But I could never be the idea to myself, not all the way.
This girl I’ve always wanted to be: a girl like Alaska, a girl worth a song, a free-spirited, interesting, mysterious, brilliant, gorgeous, spontaneous girl, is just an idea. You can be that person in idea, you can seem like that to other people, but until you are that with all of your flaws you are just an idea. So, would you rather be an idea, or a real person? That’s the question. I’m not sure…
Then there is a long thing about “the strings” that each person has strings inside of them, and when all of those strings snap you fall apart. So the guy, Q, says of the strings as a metaphor:
I like the strings, I always have. Because that’s how it feels. But the strings make pain seem more fatal than it is. I think we’re not as frail as the strings would make us believe.
The strings, that is how it feels. You go through a hard time and it feels like something inside of you is breaking. It’s called heartbreak for a reason. That feeling of snapping. But you wonder if that feeling isn’t worse than the pain itself. Like when you crack your back and the sound makes you cringe but the pain is not nearly as bad as the crack makes it seem, sometimes it’s even a relief.
So that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Do I want to be real, and am I OK with the strings. We’re not at a shortage of metaphors for what is holding us people together. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t read the book, but it gives the example of grass: that we’re all interconnected and if our roots are ripped out it’s hard to fix. And then the example of a water proof vessel, that we can crack and can’t be fixed. Fascinating.
I’m not sure what metaphor believe, but I know I love the idea of a paper person. Of an ideal person.
I’m loving the sunshine. But I’ve kinda been dying inside, I haven’t been feeling great inside or out, but I believe that things will get better.
Random Fact of the Day- Andrew Jackson was so vulgar that his parrot got kicked out of his funeral… crazy stuff.
Mission of the Day- Consider the metaphor for humanity that sticks out to you.