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Tuesday, January 25, 2005 

I’m Sorry, Baby, But This Is Just Who I Am

I really enjoyed reading “Catcher in the Rye” this time around. I had read it once before about 5 years ago and, while I thought it was well written, I just couldn’t understand Holden. I remember thinking if I had read the book when I was 15 or 16 it would have been more important to me. I remember feeling too old to really get it. How wrong I was. In truth, I wasn’t old enough.

This time through was interesting for me because it was coupled with wading through a rather deep depression. Honestly, what better time to read “Catcher in the Rye” then when you can’t pull your ass out of bed because you feel like your soul will break if you do? There is NO better time my friends, none at all. So as I lay in bed this weekend (pretty much the ONLY thing I did this weekend) and finished off the last of a book that has shaped so many I think I finally understood it. There in the dark of my room with only my little bedside lamp giving off light, the essence of this novel finally hit me. At last I understood. I understood what I missed before because of the last two lines in the book.

“Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

Those two lines… those eleven words got me out of bed and into Jilly’s room. “Listen to this!” I said through her open door. I read her the lines. “Isn’t that just… just … AMAZING?” She smiled at me, and then in her all-knowing way said, “Yes. That is amazing. It is amazing because it sounds just like something you would say.” I smiled right back at her because, as is most often the case, Jilly was right. It DID sound just like something I would say. And at long last, I felt like I understood Holden. I understood why so many people gravitated to him. In those two little lines I was finally able to grasp a generation’s obsession with a book I had never given a second thought because I know how he felt. I know what it is like to miss people so much it can drive you crazy, because somehow, in some cosmic way they own a part of you. I know what it is like to let someone know you, really know you, and then have them leave. I know what it is like to wish you had never shared the parts of you that you shared. I know what Holden felt like. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Felix read the last paragraph to me (before I finished it) the other day. Those words didn't hit me then. They didn't hit me when I read them for myself, either.

They hit me when you wrote about them, though. :)

I think it's a frame of mind thing. 

Posted by Kaycee

There's a reason why it affects you now...whatever that reason is. Its interesting how a song or book a something someone says can mean SO MUCH because of where you are in your life right then.

I'm glad we all ready this... 

Posted by JP

Every time I read something written by Sarah, I always think to myself..."Wow...she is DEEP." and this is no exception. I love how you write, Sarah...it helps me understand where I am at in life, how everyone is at a totally different point, and even sheds some light on things I never understood about my past. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Posted by Sandy

Sarah... I am very glad you enjoyed the book the second time around much more then you did the first. The last few lines made me stop and think, but, like Kaycee mentioned, they meant a lot more to me coming from you then they did Holden. Beautiful stuff Sarah.  

Posted by Rebecca

Wow, Sarah, the way you describe things... you must be FANTASTIC to talk to in person!

I'm a little jealous of all your friends. ;-) 

Posted by Lizzy

For those of us who are not (yet) flesh and blood friends with Sarah...maybe we should form a fan club. :)

I want to just echo what everyone else said - especially what Rebecca said about the words meaning more coming from you, Sarah. Coming to understand the "human condition" is what literature is all about for me, and witnessing a friend "connect" with this kind of literature just makes it come alive. When literature echoes or validates OUR human experience, somehow we don't feel so alone in the world.

Ah! I love book discussions!  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

Sweet sensitive Sarah...It DOES mean more to me now that you've said it and felt it. I was initially puzzled by the parting sentiments. But I was glad to know that Holden missed SOMEBODY, because I felt that he was running around trying to connect everywhere, but constantly falling short. He didn't give up though...I really wish I knew what happens to Holden next. Blast your hermitude, JD! 

Posted by Carrie Ann

That last line really does make the book. 

Posted by Cameron

"I know what it is like to wish you had never shared the parts of you that you shared."

I cannot tell you what this one sentence means to me. When I was dating on match.com there were many times I never even gave my real name. The idea that a stranger out there would know my name...I can't explain it. I cannot begin to explain the kind of violation I have felt after sharing a deep part of myself and for one reason or another the relationship with that person ended....I felt like they had stolen from me.

You are beautiful! 

Posted by EJ

hi. i just stumbled upon this blog and i really like the discussion you're having here..

i read "catcher in the rye" 6 years ago and that time, i also didn't understand it.

but reading what you wrote, it makes sense to me now.

“Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

i've experienced being left by people i am used to be with everyday and sometimes i wish that i didn't get too attached to them. but that's like forming fake relationships. i still feel sad and depressed at times when i think about how much i miss those people who left. but hey, life goes on and it's time to form new relationships with new people. 

Posted by weng

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

You post is nice, I like it.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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