writing prompt: books and blown minds

What book or movie “blew your mind” when you first read or saw it? Write about that experience.

I’ve written a little about this before, but, though I’ve been an avid reader since the moment I picked up a book to learn to read in kindergarten (Red, Stop! Green, Go! by P. D. Eastman), I had never had my mind truly and properly blown until high school (though my intense love of – nay, total obsession with – all things Sherlock Holmes was mind-blowing in and of itself).

I suppose that’s not too surprising. High school and college are the prime times in the life of an adolescent/young adult where he/she is still open enough to new experiences, malleable enough to have those experiences truly shape him/her as a person and mentally developed enough to have some understanding of the impact of those new experiences. Of course, he/she generally isn’t quite developed enough to realize that the new discovery isn’t the end all and be all of life. Hopefully that comes with time and even more new experiences. (If it doesn’t, the poor person usually remains rather intellectually stunted – like most Ayn Rand acolytes.)

When I entered my senior year in 1983, the year of 1984 loomed large, triggering all sorts of discussion about how much of the book Nineteen Eighty-Four had come true. And there was the powerful Apple ad that, though it aired only once, was hugely influential. I was an intelligent, curious young lady and thought it high time that I find out all what all the fuss was about. And so I checked the book out of the school library.

It took me all of two days to read Nineteen Eighty-Four. Upon finishing it, I sat and stared at the wall, tears streaming down my face as I cried for the final loss of free will and humanity.

I got it. I understood the fuss. And I felt something click in me on that fateful day. The conviction that we are all individuals, worthy of life and love and liberty. The deep seated belief that free will and liberty are worth fighting for. The nascent seeds that Star Trek had planted in me some years before flowered.

And my mind was blown.

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