I realize that I always have tried to parallel my life to literature, for better or for worse. I take every novel I read to heart—most recently, classics like Anna Karenina and Les Misérables.
Why worse? In a grand-scheme-of-things sense, I begin to cherish hopes for my life that would make sense plot-wise, if only they could ever be true. I call this “building castles in the air.” Sometimes it’s so hard to let go of what I think would make the perfect story. As Granny of “Downton Abbey” would say, “Now, dear, this sort of thing is all very well in novels, but in reality, it can prove very… uncomfortable.”
For worse in another way, in the details, because making my story like a book makes it difficult to be straightforward. When has any novelist, much less any poet, ever spelled out anything plainly? The book would be but one tepid chapter; the poem, one stanza, if it could even take a poetic form. Even when I do try to tell things straight, I still tend to give my reader(s) an opportunity for literary analysis.
I think I need friends who can indulge this tendency, but I also need people who are more grounded in reality than I am, who see no value in my Romantic stories. Sometimes I get carried away by the tide of imagination.
“If you have built castles in the sky
Let not your dreams go to waste;
Just build the foundations under them.”
– Henry David Thoreau