I was particularly struck by a line from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun last week. Asagai tells Beneatha that where she has gone wrong is seeing life as a circle on which we are trapped...and instead should be viewing this as a straight line moving beyond sight...and beyond the scope of our current understandings of what our lives can be:
"What you just said about the circle. It isn't a circle--it is simply a long line--as in geometry, you know, one that reaches into infinity. And because we cannot see the end--we also cannot see how it changes. And it is very odd but those who see the changes--who dream, who will not give up--are called idealists...and those who see only the circle, we call them the 'realists'!" (p. 162).
And I've been wondering about this. I trapped myself for a time in a narrative that didn't fit, but one that I couldn't see my way out of. And now that I can, the line looms long in front of me--alternately full of huge possibility and alternately scary as shit. I dwell in the possibility more often than the fear, thankfully. And, for the first time in a long time, realize that I will continually be revising my path--that the circle I was in, despite being prescribed and condoned by society, wasn't really a good fit. And it took a woman writer from the 1950s to give me a frame for even beginning to visualize this.