Follow my attempt at transforming to a raw food lifestyle and read my musings on my current literary guzzlings.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The birth of the blog and 1Q84

I need to write. I feel like I have this reservoir of words, of sentences, of ideas, all building up inside me like a pressurised canister of dry ice just desperate to burst. But somehow the six novels and the PhD thesis I am working on just can’t soak up all the letters pouring out of me, or perhaps my mind is too lazy to be able to order the letters into intelligent and coherent enough passages for such intellectually taxing works. So I decided to write a blog. It’s more mindless; there doesn’t need to be the same calculated construction of text nor such confinement of subject matter. It can be an outlet for anything at all that I am thinking, however nonsensical or irrelevant. But in the interests of giving it some kind of point, I am going to try and stick to two main subjects: my resolution to eat only raw food, and what I am reading and what thoughts germinate in my mind from that.

So, last night I started reading 1Q84, the long awaited new release from one of my top five favourite authors, Haruki Murakami, and his first fictional work in six years. (Short aside – I inadvertently wrote top five favourite authors, as I could never have a single favourite, but who would be my others? I could be a complete intellectual snob and say some really worthy ones, or ones where you plough through pages and pages of dense or overly intricate, slow prose but are rewarded with a gem of a sentence every hundred pages or so – Solzhenitsyn, Kawabata, Soseki, Nietsche, to name a few – but honestly they are not the authors who I would rush to devour their new books as soon as they are published (or would if they were still alive an publishing!) No, I would have to say the authors whose books I can stay up all night to read are far more trashy: Frederick Forsyth, Robert Harris, Penny Vincenzi, Hakan Nesser, Karin Fossum, Arnaldur Indridason, Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, Henning Mankell, John Grisham.) Anyway, back to 1Q84. Three points to make: firstly, I am incensed that the Times book review called it long and slow. It is neither of those. I read part 1 in less than a day and wish it was longer. Neither is it slow – even the paragraphs describing the mundane activities of the characters contain not a single superfluous sentence, and in each chapter something happens. Perhaps I am too drawn to books with lonely main characters, or too interested in hearing what time they eat their evening meal and how they dress their cucumbers, but I like to see that they are real human beings. Someone once pointed out to me that in Angels and Demons, two entire days pass without us seeing Robert Langdon eat a single morsel, let alone do his laundry or do his dishes. Secondly, I loved the part where he distinguishes between two worlds by the fact that one has two moons. A detail that doesn’t seem all too earth-shattering at first glance, but look closer and you see just how affecting it can be. The moon makes people do strange things (hence the origin of the term lunatic) so there would be more nutty acts, more emotion, more crime, and as the female character in the scene pointed out, women might have two periods a month. SO you’d just have to concoct one tiny detail in your fantasy world that was different and from that you could fathom all sorts of possible consequences. Thirdly, the main female character says she is in love with a man with every fibre of her being, but has no desire to even let him know she exists. Why not? The other characters question her. Because it is enough just that she loves someone, she doesn’t need to be loved back for it to be valid and for her to feel fulfilled; in fact, it may even be damaging because if she had to be loved by someone it would open up her personality and her soul and all her faults would be exposed, so it was safer just to love from a distance. I would do well to remember that.

So, on to my second topic of consideration. Going raw. I have done it a few times in the past, though only for short periods of time, or longer periods of time at 80/90%. Last week I did 6 days at 100% and I felt fantastic, though must admit I didn’t count the need for less sleep as a bonus. 4 hours sleep a night in Scotland in winter makes for a thoroughly depressing time awake in the darkness, and trying to fill 20 hours of a day is exhausting. (Perhaps I just wasn’t reading a good enough book at the time...) And the dreams.... too many and too awful. But aside from that I felt fabulous. Serene, comfortable with myself, happy, positive, full of enthusiasm for life and people and for being me. Compared to this week when I ate a bunch of unhealthy foods and just felt miserable. So I vow to go 100% raw from this moment onwards. And to eat something green every day and sprouts every day.   

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