It is not a competition!
I keep telling myself that, I keep reminding myself that — it is not a competition — a competition about who is a better writer, or a better and deeper thinker. If that was a competition, I would have given up a long time ago. I mean, there would be only frustration and disappointment for me. It happens a lot, actually. In every book I read, there is at least one paragraph, a sentence, or a phrase that astounds me and makes me question my ability to think and convey my thoughts outwardly. I feel inadequate reading the form and meaning of others as they put it in words. Then I have to remind myself that it is not a competition….
That happened again to me last night. A short paragraph from a book by Robert Walser made me pant for air and look around the room in pure amazement. I wanted to share it and this emotion with somebody, but unfortunately — there was no one around. And even if there was somebody near, would that person understand what makes me experience something written more than 100 years ago as pure, deep ecstasy? I doubt it. There it is, a thought so beautifully put together and clearly speaking to me from the past generations:
“morning and night were like wanting to and needing to. One drove you out into vast immensity, the other pulled you back into modest smallness again.”
Robert Walser, May 1920