Long time, no talk Dear Readers!
I feel like today is a perfect day to add another quote to the ~Janille N G’s Favourite Quotes~ page and to explain why I like it so much and experience such a swell of emotions when I read it. To start, here is the quote itself:
“Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?” – The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler’s Wife has been one of my absolute favourite novels since I first read it during the summer after my senior year of high school. I’ve read it twice (it was the novel I chose to pick up and read last Christmas, during the winter holidays of my MA degree) and it has achieved almost Jane Eyre status for me. (Sidenote: The fact that I can actually spell the author’s last name perfectly without referring to the front cover of the novel is an impressive feat and testament to how much I LOVE her writing!) I am actually a huge, HUGE fan of the movie adaptation, starring (sexy, sexy, HOT, HOT, HOT – in my opinion at least…I know A LOT of CRAZY people who don’t like him!) Eric Bana and (beautiful, gorgeous, Canadian goddess) Rachel McAdams – needless to say, I am a fan of this story in various incarnations. I’ve always felt closest to and been most touched by Clare Abshire, though, because I believe she is one of the most fascinating female characters in recent literary history. She is strong and feisty, but also creative, soft and loving…she wears her heart on her sleeve (something that I think, especially from looking at this blog, I do as well!), but she is also defiant and bold in the face of so many strange and unusual challenges. I’ve often wanted to be Clare…
…mainly because I’ve wanted to be with someone like Henry (dashing, sexy, sexy, SEXY!!!) DeTamble! I don’t know many girls or women who don’t want to be romantically involved with a man they can also call their best friend in the whole wide world. Henry is that for Clare – maybe because she met him when she was so young, but also probably because he is her soul mate in so many ways…he compliments her, he challenges her (Oh, how his lifestyle challenges her!), and he offers her a love that is so breathtaking that it quite literally defies time. When I first read the novel, I was in a tricky situation romantically. I was graduating high school, leaving the itty bitty bubble of my small town life and venturing into the big city. I was leaving many of my friends behind…and many of the crushes and boys I had become so used to and looked so forward to seeing every day. But I was optimistic – I felt certain that my own Henry DeTamble was sitting in a library in that picturesque university in Toronto (he is, after all, a librarian extraordinaire!) – I felt instinctively that he was lurking somewhere on that campus, just waiting (patiently but excitedly) to find me!
It took me almost 5 years, and a lot of crushes and romantic failures, to finally find him. Now, before y’all get your comfy, warm, knit reading sweaters in a bind, I’m not saying that my current boyfriend is the real-life Henry DeTamble. If we’re getting real here, I have to admit that SS is not much of a reader…granted, English isn’t his first language, so he sort of has an excuse, but I don’t think he ever stood a real chance of being cast as Henry, what with his preference for science and politics over fiction. (Sorry babe!) Having said that, he is, to me, everything that Henry is to Clare: my best friend, the person I turn to when ANYTHING at all happens to me, the one who makes me laugh and smile and sometimes cry because I miss him so much…he’s a great companion, and I think he understands me as well as my parents and brother do, which is something I never thought any guy would be able to do. He’s great, in almost every way I can think of, but he’s also human and flawed and not at all perfect…and we all know, considering my infatuation with a certain Mr. Rochester, that I’ve never wanted a perfect guy anyway!
He also doesn’t disappear…ever. Or at least not very often. He’s always there when I need him or want him to be, and we see each other several times a week. But, sadly, this weekend he has been forced (seriously – I think he felt pretty burdened and inconvenienced!) to go on a trip as part of his kinesiology degree…and here we have the inspiration for this post and the reason why this quote, by Clare Abshire, has been swirling around my brain all morning. Yesterday was my one year anniversary with SS (YAY! We made it…we’ve achieved legitimate relationship status…take that haters! heehee) – and today, already, he is what feels like a million miles away from me.
So yeah, I’m suddenly feeling a bit like a time traveler’s wife. Last night we were all excited and happy and disgustingly cute and cuddle-y…and today I can’t even text the guy because he’s so busy and barely has any cell phone service. So here I am, sitting alone, staring at an eventless and hugless weekend. (Okay, my mom is guaranteed to hug me a lot this weekend, but you know what I mean!) And this is why I feel like Clare: her life was so perfect, for so many glorious minutes and hours and days. And then, abruptly, it wasn’t because Henry went off and disappeared. It could be her wedding night, Christmas, a birthday (time travel doesn’t discriminate!), and her most cherished companion would just *poof* into thin air. What a life, eh?! It couldn’t have been easy – and it’s the type of tumultuous, emotional, raw story that has been able to bring me to tears so often!
But I think that Clare would agree with me when I say that it is absolutely better and more fulfilling to have someone to miss than to have no one at all! I’d rather face a weekend without SS, a weekend of wishing he was around and anxiously longing for his return, than not know him at all! And I know that Clare feels the same way…because a life with Henry, the time traveler, is better than a life with no Henry at all!
Let’s hope that SS doesn’t leave again anytime soon…unless I’m going to be able to follow!
Girl with a Green Heart