I am still reading The Portable Anais Nin, and a lot of what she has written in her diary deeply moves me, fascinates me, and at the same time makes me feel quite sad for her and the way she lived her life. There are times when I feel uneasy reading her work because of the mood it puts me in, and I often wonder about her many sexual affairs and if in the end she ever truly found any real happiness at all through them.
Anais Nin was always a great mystery to me, but now that I’ve been reading some of her diary entries, it sees like she is nothing that I first imagined her to be. Her and I are two very different souls, as in I can’t ever imagine myself being that woman that has various affairs with many different men, and cheats on her husband. The only thing I seem to agree on with her is that she speaks from the heart, and I have always been a person to wear her heart on her sleeve. Sometimes I feel frustrated when I read her diary entries and almost want to hate her, but this is a woman that lived freely and did whatever she pleased when she wanted. For a woman still living in a very patriarchal society, I admire her for her courage and passion.
Reading about her affairs, I feel sad because in every relationship I have been in, no one has ever entirely stayed loyal to me. So reading about a woman that does not practice monogamy makes me feel angry at times, because this is the woman that I have grown to despise, the woman that steals away the man you’re in love with or married to. What hurts is even when they still come back to you in the end, you will never forget the other woman. Her face will unfortunately be forever burned inside your memory. Was Anais that other woman to the partners of the men she had affairs with? Did they grow to hate her? And did Anais ever have any regrets later in her life? I will never understand how anyone can do this to another person. Human nature is not an excuse.
I am only 50% through with the eBook version I am reading on my Kindle. Currently I am reading her diary entries from the 1940’s now.
I suppose I have to admit that reading the diaries of Anais Nin depresses me slightly and makes me feel cynical. And now it has just occurred to me that all the fiction/nonfiction I read is always a bit depressing and dark in nature. In many of the books I choose to read there is very little hope, and often the main character(s) struggle daily in life with some conflict they are trying to overcome. But this is what life is about, isn’t it? Except I refuse to be that person that lets the negativity of life serve as an excuse to dwell in it and act recklessly. I will continue to fight and overcome temptations, and continue to hold on to hope. I will continue to see more beauty than darkness.