Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Belong to Nevada

In his book In Nevada: The Land, The People, God, and Chance, which I started reading on the way to Walmart Supercenter for a pleasant visit that I'll write about tomorrow--in appreciation of Thursdays in this valley that don't feel as combative as other days of the week--and also read while at Walmart, David Thomson describes the ideal Nevada resident:

"You have to have some of the patience and sangfroid of a ghost to get along there--you need to be not quite what you were, not quite alive to this world, but breathing history and with time in your veins."

I've got the patience and sangfroid. It comes from moving so many times, being pretty much rootless in my native Florida because nearly all the moves happened throughout there. I'm easygoing about anything. Nothing's permanent, and I understand that.

I'm not quite a film critic like I used to be; I write reviews for fun now, and while the thought of writing a book before I did it worried me to no end because of all the work involved, I want to do it again, and yet I still have to push myself to make a go of it.

I'm not quite alive to this world. I use Facebook, but not Twitter, I don't believe in keeping up on absolutely everything that's happening online, though I do read the news as necessary. I don't need to know every single movement of politicians. I don't need to know what celebrities are up to. I'm not one of those who are so wired and so connected that if their iPhone broke, they would go crazy.

Breathing history? I'm passionate about presidential history, interested in Supreme Court history, I'm reading In Nevada because I want to know everything about my future home state, and once there, I'm going to read every single Nevada history book available, while also studying New Mexico, which I want to travel throughout. I'm also interested in the origins of things and people, such as a book about pasta that I want to read and had put it on my immediate to-read stack, but then Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen and God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet arrived in the mail yesterday from Amazon. I started In Nevada because I didn't want to carry the hardcover God's Hotel with me in Walmart. I wanted to leave it for home reading, where I can truly go deep into it.

Whenever I pass by buildings, I wonder who built them, the architects who thought of them, the construction guys who installed flooring and made columns. I look at parks and wonder what they looked like decades before our car passed them by. I think about each state and wonder how many of its citizens take pride in its history, or even pay attention to its history. I hope there are many like me. I'm always breathing history.

I'm 28. I have time in my veins, and as a writer, it's there anyway. It takes time to write a book, to write a novel. I know how I want to use time, yet I know that time does not belong to me. The clock will tick no matter what I do. But I will try for what I want in my life, in reading, in writing books, in finally having roots, feeling like I'm home somewhere.

By all this, I belong to Nevada.

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