“So many things in the world about me seemed exquisite and lovely. I wanted to find words to hold on to those moments of revelation. I have been trying to find the words ever since.” MKR, “In This I Believe”
And so this adventure begins.
Many people think I’ve got to be somewhat insane for undertaking a history honors thesis during this critical time: my senior year of college at the University of Florida. I am a telecommunication major who wants to go to documentary film school next fall, who already barely sleeps due to the constant desire for brain stimulation and productivity (most likely, just due to anxiety problems). Why on earth would I put myself through this torture?
Well. The truth is, I might just be a little crazy as they say, because I don’t know how to answer this besides with, “I can’t really explain it. I just want to.” But, so far in this “critical” year as they sometimes call it, I have felt as though I’m on the brink of truly discovering something great–whether it’s something great about this world or something great about myself. After weeks of severe panic, self-loathing, and general frustration with my uninspiring circumstances, I finally feel ready to pursue those things that I believe both bring out the best in me and also teach me things. These pursuits are not totally concrete yet… but I know they are good for my brain and soul, and that will prepare me to contribute something meaningful to this world some day. Yoga, cooking, and… an honors thesis? Sounds like all the ingredients for some good ole soul enrichment, wouldn’t you say?
Marjorie, too, struggled with finding her voice and the stories she wanted to tell. Some of my favorite material to read is her correspondence with her editor, Max Perkins, at Scribner’s as she wrote her novels, but especially The Yearling. Much of it is filled with her frustrations and feelings of hopelessness, yet alongside her self-doubt came even more powerful moments of illumination and determination. The writing process was not easy for her. She had to live the Cracker life she wrote about. She had to love it for all it’s greatness alongside its bleakness. She had to think and write a lot, repeatedly. Then, she created a masterpiece.
I’ve only reviewed the surface of my research material for this project, and I’m already in love. Check out this radio transcription of a beautiful statement made by Marjorie.