Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's Your Unfickle? (Pursuing the Horizon)

I admit it. I'm Aesthetically fickle. What I loved to read, watch, look at, wear, this year, are likely not necessarily going to be the same things that resonate with me next year. I get sick of old things and fall in love with shiny, new things, with few exceptions (including my own works of fiction).

Even the books and movies I "love" seem to have a time and place for me, meaning, the few times I've gone back to reread or rewatch them, they just haven't held the same allure. As such, I don't often try to do so.

Of course, to every fickle rule, there are exceptions. And here are a few of mine (list definitely NOT exhaustive):

I never get sick of:
from A Wrinkle in Time

ANYTHING Maira Kalman, especially her picture books;

A Wrinkle In Time, The History of Love, Pride & Prejudice, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and most things Dr. Seuss;

The Graduate, Swingers, The Swimmer, A Little Romance; Bridget Jones's Diary (the movie) (I know, sue me, I think it's Colin Firth);

a few select poems by e.e. cummings;

and, for some reason, the longest hold out, this poem by Stephen Crane which has resonated with me for more than 30 years:

"I saw a man pursuing the horizon"

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never —”
“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.

I can't tell you exactly why this poem resonates for me year after year, only that I go back to it and when I do, it does.

What does this for you?

What's your unfickle?



  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE This. I AM unfickle. here's are my unfickle things that immediately come to mind: Of course, the list is an abbreviated one, and as such, subject to change or addition at any time. But for right this minute:
    movies: Frida. Dirty Dancing. Fierce Grace.
    Painters: Philip Pearlstein. Alice Neel. Lucien Freud. Nathan Olivera. David Park. pretty much most other Bay area figurative artists. Poets: Diane DiPrima. Denise Levertov. Allen Ginsberg. William Carlos Williams. Mark Doty. Mary Oliver. Rimbaud. Yogis/meditation teachers: Seane Corn. Rodney Yee. Sally Kempton. Gumurkh Singh. books: the Great Gatsby. Drida by Frida. A Fine Balance. Red Earth & Pouring Rain. The Bhagavad Gita. The Dhammapada. The following poems: The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. Falling, Howl, and this:
    (Robert Frost poem)
    Some say the world will end in fire
    some in ice
    what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire
    but if it should have to perish twice
    I think I know enough of hate
    to say that ice is also nice
    and would suffice

    I will no doubt think of a whole new list by the time you read this. but isn't that the beauty of being unfickle?

  2. and just in case you're wondering. being unfickle sometimes makes me "unspell" or "ungrammar." so there. (yes, I re-read what I wrote after I posted it).

  3. "To say that for destruction sake ice is also great....."
    yes. I did forget that line from fire & ice.
    never mind. why don't you just delete every comment. I'm feeling too fickle (read fickle) to keep any of it.

  4. Oh my, my unfickle, huh. The Handmaid's Tale, both the book and the movie. Most things dystopian, movies, books. 80's movies. Hair, Evita, and many musicals, I can watch them over and over and belt out the songs. Black. Most things having to do with John Cusack, Luke Wilson, Toby McGuire, and Edward Norton, the ocean, the lake, and most bodies of water for that reason. Yahtzee. Plath. Elliott, cummings, and other poems and poets that are outside normal. I'll stop there. Could probably go on and on.

  5. Lori, I love your unfickle grammatically and un.

    Megan, see! Handmaid's Tale is one of those books I went back to read and couldn't. Whatever it held for me at the time was gone. And of course water and the ocean go without saying, although I was mostly talking about art. Then again, the ocean =s no better art. :)

  6. Loved the blog today. I will have to think of my unfickle but not at this moment. Not using my own computer.
    But I will get back to you.
    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

  7. I'm gonna take the (ch)easy way out and say "My Wife" (I would add the boy, but he's been a bit whiny today!)

  8. You have a beautiful way with words Gae. -- Your number two fan

  9. Um, Mike, I was only talking about art things (ok, and clothes but fashion is art). I rarely get sick of my husband or my kids. That goes without saying. FYI, I often get sick of the things they do, but absent that, I truly never get sick of their company.

    Anonymous, thank you. I thought my dad was my number two fan. My mother being the clear number one. ;)

  10. Oh, I am your number three fan then Gae. Mom and Dad always come first and second. :) I can't wait for your next blog. Keep writing. Your number three fan.

  11. Well in that case, I'll go with the following:

    Song I always enjoy hearing: Guantanamara (not sure why, and no idea what it means, but it always makes me happy)

    Movie I'll watch whenever it's on: Godfather II (Christmas Story comes a close second)

    Book I read every year: To Kill a Mockingbird

    Show I can watch over and over: Right now it's How I Met Your Mother (which usurped The Office, which was preceded by Scrubs, Seinfeld, and Friends)

    Art I enjoy looking at: tie between Carney and Garfunkel

  12. Hmmm good topic! I'm going to try and put my unfickles in categories :)
    MOVIES: Sleepless in Seattle, Harry Potter (all of them!), Freedom Writers, Toy Story, Bridget Jones' Diary, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
    BOOKS: Speak, Looking for Alaska, Breathing Underwater, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Truth About Forever
    TV: Sex and the City, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, True Blood

    I can't think of anymore at the moment, but I will continue thinking on this. :)

  13. Mike,Guantanamara reminded me that I actually don't get sick of The Girl from Impanema for some reason. Weird, I know. There are a few Beatles songs I never get sick of too.

    Sarah, we have a movie overlap, and, funny side note, although I've never read TTAF (Dessen) I do reference it in my women's fiction ms called Swim Back to Me. :)

    Anonymous (is that you, Mike S?), okay, three it is. Thanks! :)

  14. Interesting. Here's mine, off the top of my not quite awake head, so I'm sure I'm leaving out some that I'll think of later.

    BOOKS: Almost anything by John Irving, Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut; To Kill A Mockingbird; Catcher in the Rye.

    MOVIES: Pulp Fiction; Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?; It's A Wonderful Life

    PLAYS: Evita (I've seen in onstage 4 times and watched the movie half a dozen times or more)

    MUSIC: Nirvana; Rolling Stones; JJ Cale; John Lee Hooker; Stevie Ray Vaughan

  15. I'll just go ahead and ditto Sarah (esp. TTAF - love Dessen). (and except Breathing Underwater, don't think I've read that yet).

  16. @Erica- A family friend gave me Breathing Underwater, along with a large stack of books, as a college graduation gift. It's completely addicting and always THE favorite in my Young Adult Lit class.

    @Gae- I can't get enough of Bridget Jones' Diary. Plus it's something my mom and I like to watch together :) Also, make sure TTAF is near the top of your to-read list. One of my fave Sarah Dessen books.

  17. Anxiously awaiting your next blog Gae.