When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. . . Thomas Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.
Having read John Green‘s Looking for Alaska is like being in possession of a secret you can’t wait to divulge. So, please, read this. Damn the preconceptions. It’s a beautiful book. I mean, this is what I wrote in my notebook, all I could write: Good books. Mmm. They just make sense, don’t they? Loving this book. It’s snatched my heart and the world is making sense, and then it isn’t, and then it’s making sense again. I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s a deceptively simple novel about loss and love, and what being young feels like, and how pain reverberates seemingly endlessly when we’re young. It’s about looking for that Great Perhaps, and doubting its existence, doubting one’s self. It’s about continuing on to that Great Perhaps. It’s about the infiniteness of youth — our glory days, as a friend of mine said just last night. It’s about being happy and not bothering to name it, it’s about being angry. It’s about finding something to cling to, if only until you realize you’re on steady ground.
I am speaking in tongues, I know. Still.
Old Man Hyde, professor of World Religions, asks his students, What is your cause for hope? I have written this question down on my notebook, and have reserved a modest page for the answer. I can only hope that more pages shall serve this question. And yes, that answer is slow in coming, but I’m getting there. I’m taking all the time I need.