Proust rhymes with roost

by cheri block

I have only 135 pages to go in Marcel Proust’s second volume of In Search of Lost Time titled In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower. I will be fully prepared when my class at St. John’s College in Santa Fe begins shortly. <cough, cough, wink, wink>

Soon, I will have much to write about  but in the meantime, what I take away from Mr. Proust at this point, is his suggestion to break Habit.

My life is full of Habit, so in the spirit of Proust,  I’m trying to decide how to break some of it.

For example, I do not grow my own vegetables but rather grocery shop every 4 days or so.

I tend to wash my hair daily and in an effort to look presentable, I blow dry it.

I drive a car.

When my husband returns each night from work, I am usually home.

I toast an English muffin most mornings and put olallieberry jam on it.

I tell my husband I like his tie each morning.

This list of my Habits is so boring that for the first time in many years of writing, I am boring myself.

Let’s see. How can I break Habit?






About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Education, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Proust rhymes with roost

  1. Brighid says:

    It is not always the wisest choice to break things…

    • Cheri says:

      Yep…boy did you provide a grand opening for me with that comment. Let’s see…how many glasses have I thrown and broken when I was a young excitable married filly?
      I did throw some spoons and a vase.

  2. dafna says:

    it’s been so long since i have read proust, i cannot remember much except the theme of nostalgia triggered by involuntary memory. but a quick search turned up the theme to which you refer, “Habit makes us indifferent to our surroundings”.

    this could not be more true. Habit is easy, change is less comfortable, but change for it’s own sake exposes us to sights, sounds, experiences we would otherwise miss. how often have i been so engrossed in a routine that when i finally enter the world and turn a corner, i am delighted to report… “if i had not been Here at his moment, i would not have seen That!”

    I found this quote “I believe a genuine homage to Proust, to paraphrase Alain de Botton, means looking at our world through his eyes, rather than looking at his world through ours.” good on you or doing exactly this.

    • Cheri says:

      I will take that nifty quotation with me to Santa Fe. Here’s the rub: I was supposed to read the first volume as a prerequisite to admission to the class. I have not finished it either…Perhaps I can cram.

  3. Don says:

    My habits are so small they are a comfort to me, tiny islands of stability in a crazy season of life. So many people I know my age seem settled and comfortable in their routines — and it is absolutely to your credit you are not comfortable with being so comfortable — but here on the stormier side of the seawall I sometimes envy the steady slow surf.

    But anyway. You actually asked a question. Get up some morning, early, and without showering, mount a bicycle and aim for an interesting spot ten miles distant, a place with something resembling a farmer’s market or organic grocery, a place where you can assemble your lunch from seemingly arbitrary pieces — carrots, carob muffins — and ruminate over iced tea into your hand-written journal, the one without lines, a place to add sketches and physically disconnected paragraphs; admire the shimmer of heat above the roadway or the way light breezes tickle the oaks; and amble home again, taking slow detours and slower pictures, timing your arrival so that the house is not empty upon your return.

    Sounds nice but the flat tire and sweaty forehead and aching legs will larn ya to question yer habits.

    • Cheri says:

      Very funny. I actually fell for your idea until I considered what it would be like trying to pedal back UP my road. Down would be easy although dangerous with the young kids who drive up the road as if it is a NASCAR race. Boy, you write well.

  4. Christopher says:

    It sounds as if reading “In Search of Lost Time” is becoming your latest daily Habit.

    Anyway, by the time you’ve read the last paragraph you’ll be a another worthy member of that small and exclusive club that has had the fortitude to read the book’s seven volumes all the way through.

    I do hope, therefore, that when you go finally to your Eternal Reward (which I trust is still far, far away) your tombstone will have etched upon it at least a reference to this stupendous reading achievement!!

  5. Cheri says:

    I wish I could say that I have read the whole deal but I have only read part of the first volume ( Swann’s Way) and now the second volume. Who knows! Maybe after the class (which I will report on from Santa Fe if I make the time ….in search of the time…) I will be so motivated, I’ll read the rest. But first, I have to finish my master’s thesis which has to be 100 pages and I have written 16 pages so far. Oh boy. My age is showing.

  6. Richard says:

    The cure for boredom is to cultivate the habit of doing nothing, a skill I now perfect in the tropical heat that has at last reached this little island.

    So I shan’t reach for Marcel Proust.

  7. Cyberquill says:

    Block rhymes with rooster.

  8. bogard says:

    Tell the Judge you like his shoes!! Or, get him to wear some of those colorful socks that are all the rage these days. (Works for me). And a Proust course in Sante Fe??!!…enjoy that cuisine, and have a bad-to-the-bone margueritta (sp?), on the rocks, done with 100% agave tequila (reposada is my fave)!

  9. Cheri says:

    Hello from Santa Fe, bogard!
    The Judge wears those argyle colorful socks, especially the lavender/yellow ones. I’ve met several folks from your home town, one woman who knew Myra Gearhardt! There is a retired doctor who is still affiliated with your university’s med school. I will ask him if he knows Professor bogard!

    • bogard says:

      Tell The Judge to try some of the striped ones…I like ’em. And it is a small world, right!! (Med school doc probably won’t know me…I keep a really low-profile, you know). And there used to be a great mexican restaurant and bar right on the Plaza in SF where I had the best margueritta ever…might still be there. Enjoy!!

  10. W.k. kortas says:

    Monty Python’s sketch featuring a Summarizing Proust competition has left me wholly unable to read his work.

  11. Cheri says:

    It left me wholly unable to concentrate on the class today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s