Battle spirit

Literature has always been a focal point in my life. The overwhelming beauty in well formulated ideas, thoughts and feelings, holds a power without comparison. The ability to portrait one’s truth for others to experience, is an internal monster fighting for its exit. “The pen is mightier than the sword” one of the most abused clich├ęs of all and still it does not diminish its truth.  

As a child I dreamed of a life as an author. When realizing I was really not that great at it and (then – severely so, now – seriously so) lacked necessary discipline, I wanted to have my own publishing house instead (I designed a logo and everything). If I could not write, at least I would read. 

In that spirit I have for a few years undertaken a reading challenge. Inspired by Goodreads.com’s webpage challenge and my admiration for a good friend who reads 100 books a year (a feat I know I could never compete with). I decided instead on 52 books every year – truly, after 12 and 365 there is really no other OCD-appropriate way to divide a year into numbers. 

I have come to understand that many perceive 52 as a strikingly high number. When people tell me they read a book or two at most a year, I cannot help but wonder what they do with all their time… or just how incredibly empty my life must be… It is true that even with a lot of enthusiasm, reading a book a week does take a lot of effort. However, 52 books a year correspond to roughly 3000 books a lifetime and I refuse to believe that even covers the most essential books of all time.

Now humbled by three years of failure (and a terrible start of this year) I fear I have to succumb to the thought that fighting for 52 is perhaps a battle doomed for iterative defeat. Yet stubborn like a mule, I never seem to be able to let go of a thought. 

This has lead me to think a lot about battles. I ask myself: What is really worth fighting for? When is bleeding and bloodshed justified? Is there shame in the fluttering of a white flag? And what constitutes a victory? The world is emerged in so many unrighteous battles in the name of all-kinds-of-nonsense-excuses-to-do-damage, that at least one thing I have learned is the fighting worth bleeding for, never has the purpose of doing damage.

I can recall many situations in which I have done a lot of damage to myself and others when fighting for causes which I not only knew to be lost, but barely believed in myself. A cause that is lost, can still be worth fighting for, but not to the price in which you end up fighting yourself. Battle scars from these fights are not the proud heroic scars of a righteous fighter – they are the burnmarks of the coward. 

I started this blog to push myself to write more, and to do it better. To let that little monster within bleed a little for that dormant children’s dream. 


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