Driving to pick up my daughter at basketball practice today, I kept thinking about David Lipsky’s book about David Foster Wallace, and Infinite Jest, which I can’t wait to read. Am I nuts? When am I going to fit in a 1,000-page plus novel? And yet, David Foster Wallace is now my current favorite three-word combination.
At school, pleasant and convivial as my fellow parents may be, the finer part of a day is not talk about how legislation winds down all the way into our kindergarten classes. So much of this adult world is talk, talk, while the deeper issues that lie in our lives are often poverty – material and spiritual.
After basketball practice, the girls discovered hidden doors under the stage and crawled deep into the dark underbelly of their school. I crouched before the open little door and listened to their voices, young and female, problem-solving, figuring out the lay of their land, navigating obstacles. This, I thought, is what the adult world needs: a way to the look at the familiar world and find a hidden door, to look at our own world in ways we’d never imagined, from deep down in its guts, to see what holds us together.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?
David Foster Wallace