From A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, I read:
White roses and red roses: those were beautiful colours to think of. And the cards for first place and second place and third place were beautiful colours too: pink and cream and lavender. Lavender and cream and pink roses were beautiful to think of. Perhaps a wild rose might be like those colours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place.
What is a reader to think immediately upon reading those lines? I am probably the only person alive who would think the inappropriate thoughts that crept into my mind after I read those words. I thought:
...of rods and cones and extremely short wavelengths and unimaginably high frequencies.
Neither the beauty of colors nor the artistry of the words and phrasing impinged for even an instant upon my literal analysis of what I was reading. Not until much later, that is, after the moment had fled -- had drifted off to (as always) disappear into whatever hidden depths such moments are fated to fall.
What the hell is the matter with me?
Why am I always the one who sees things differently than others see things?
Why is it always me who visualizes (while reading a novel) that a character described as "driving along the coast and looking out at the ocean" is a driver gazing over the waters of the 'Atlantic,' -- until I later read that this character is driving North along the coast, looking to his left, and only then do I come to realize that he is seeing, not the Atlantic, but instead, the Pacific Ocean.
Perhaps I am Joyce's solitary green rose growing in some alien place.
But I have now read the first two chapters of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and (surprisingly) enjoyed the reading of them.
Why is death a thing to be feared, or to evoke sadness? I can understand why one would fear the pain that might occur just preceding death, but not the state of being dead itself. And why should one be saddened by the passing from life to death of another: a treasured pet, a close friend, or even a much loved family member? It seems to me that the grief attending death is a sadness one feels at being deprived of another's companionship, a sense of loss at no longer being able to interact with the one who has just died.
I don't mean to appear callous by writing this. All I am trying to do is discover and honestly express in words how I truly feel about life, death, and bereavement.
I should keep those non-typical feelings to myself . . .
Words are sometimes inadequate for a full disclosure.
It has come to my attention that a 3.8 Earthquake occurred East of Kokomo, Indiana this morning. That is the vicinity of my old home town, which is less that a hundred miles from Kokomo. I am sending out questioning emails to friends and family still living there.
More here about the quake.