The First Chapter

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

–Thomas Jefferson

I have a problem. With books. Good books. Whenever I read a good book it takes me forever and a day to get through the first chapter. Because I read and re-read the introduction and the first sentence. It’s exciting for me to discover that I’m reading a good book, and I mean, absurdly exciting. Some of my favorite books of this sort are The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, What They Know About You by Bernard Asbell, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin, and The Midnight Disease by Alice W. Flaherty.

I really wish I could skip ahead past the next six months. I am a horribly, horribly impatient human being and it feels as though every hour is drenched in uncertainty, expectation and tension. Even if it sits in the back of my mind, just behind the shadows of unconscious thought, it waits until there is a moment of stillness before emerging and inquiring why I’m sitting still. I must keep moving, pacing, thinking, worrying. Because surely pounding one’s fist on a button for an elevator makes it arrive faster.

My thoughts are split in two. One half consists of taking mental notes and reminding myself how fleeting time is, and to cherish the moments I have with the people I care about. And then there’s the other half…and this half isn’t nearly as appreciative of the beauty of the everyday.

Restless, restless, restless. It never ends! I know for a fact that I have it in me to handle the things that I need to handle, that even if I fail at times in the near future, it will not be the end of the world and there will be nothing left to do but try again. And I will try again. But there also remains the idea that simple will is not enough, and suppose I’m lacking in the qualities that actually matter.

Eight minutes ’till midnight, I should try yet again to get some rest.




9 thoughts on “The First Chapter

  1. Those of us with racing minds and multi task fetish have it rough going. I do the crossword or read the paper, MSNBC is on and Father yaking away all while eating dinner. The endless committee playing in our head can be exhausting. Exercise helps. So does a new hobby.

  2. OMG! I *LOVE* The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is MY favourite novel EVER, so glad to know you like it too. Haven’t read the others you mention though.

    I’m impatient too, particularly when I’m not happy, and I just want the day to end, like at my rubbish day job that I HATE…sigh

    oh and I cannot multitask, it hurts my brain lol

    • Isn’t Oscar Wilde INCREDIBLE?! Bah! I’m head-over-heels in love with his writing! Who knew a mind could even exist that would create such a masterpiece?

      You’re too good for an ordinary life, Madame. When you get famous because that book of yours you can quit in some fantastic way 😀

      • Yes, after reading Dorian, I understood Wilde’s genius and you see, read that novel again, when you’re older, and it will add an additional side to it, if slightly bittersweet, and when you know that Wilde was in his late 30’s or possibly early 40’s when he wrote it, then you will understand that in a way, he is Dorian and that time is fleeting, and well, I think you’re one of the few young ones, who have been given the gift of wisdom, early on, so I know you realise time is fleeting, and understand the pain of Dorian, as I do too…

  3. I just started reading The Picture of Dorian Gray about a week ago… only got as far as the 2nd chapter, twice. Hopefully, next time I pick it up, I’ll finish it all the way. Otherwise, it’ll be Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2…

  4. You are SO going places!!

    I hate waiting. I realized that life is about waiting when I was young. I was always waiting for something. Nothing ever came quick enough for me. Whether it be summer vacation, Christmas, my birthday, my friend to come home from school, I was always waiting. Even now I wish there was more hours in the day sometimes and even wish the day would hurry up and end. I do possess an extraordinarily huge amount of patience though. Always keep in mind “Good things come to those who wait.”.

    • I despise waiting! I read somewhere that we spend something to the tune of two weeks of our lives sitting at traffic lights.
      It does feel like many things are a waiting game lately, and indeed you have a point, patience is a virtue 🙂

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