I finished Truth and Beauty this morning. Fascinating, both in terms of seeing into two writers lives, and in terms of reading about addiction, pain and suffering. Sounds grim, eh? This is the story of Patchett's friendship with Lucy Grealy who died of an overdose several years ago and who spent much of her life having operations due to jaw cancer when she was a child. Patchett was a loyal and supportive friend and also an accomplished writer who has published 5 books. Grealy published Autobiography of a Face. Grealy sounds like a difficult person to be friends with at times. But the balance of the personalities of the ant, Ann Patchett and the grasshopper, Lucy Grealy is quite interesting. (These are Patchett's terms). Grealy dashed through the world spending money she didn't have, taking book advances for books she never buckled down to write, having sex with abandon but never finding love or a relief from her sense of being alone. Patchett describes herself as sensible, a saver, budgeter, systematically going about her writing in an orderly way.
I wonder what I am? Sometimes I think I am the ant, living a very structured life on a daily basis--practicing my yoga, reading, writing or doing craftwork each day just about. I try to be thrifty with money and practical. Other times I think I am the grasshopper. After all, I have no income, no pension, no money for my old age, no health insurance, few accomplishments to "justify" this bohemian grasshopper life. I flit about from this to that.
Thus I am an anthopper.