Friday, 20 December 2013

Why We Write

I had planned this week's blog to be about what attracts me to the wild North West, but a post from Publishers Weekly just flat stopped me in my tracks.

Why do we write?

Please allow me to share a poem from my 'Scenes From a Life' collection:

The Bond

We’ve touched each other, you and I: become one.

Not just for now; but for our entire lifetimes and eternity after that.
Thirty years from now we’ll be totally different externally.
We’ll be products of the experiences between now and then, and of time’s molding.
And we’ll be radically different internally.
Dreams will have come and been fulfilled, or been and gone.

Do you know what I’d wish for then?

A love.

Of walking in wild places or among history.
Or with ocean wind and spray on our faces.
Of a loving look across a room.
Of icy glasses of Pinot Gris and low voices by a bright fire, with rain outside driving against kauri-framed windows.

A longing.

For the delicious touch of hands on breasts and throats,
And of fingers in each other's hair.

I hope our love for music will have endured.

I do know we’ll always love books; the way written words caress a thought and make it perfect.

I wish then, for the joy of endlessly rediscovering each other.

That our lives together had been like petals of a flower unfolding -- each more wondrous that the previous.

But whether we’re together or apart at that time, this love we have will live on, secure in those places we’ve dedicated to it within us.

These temples of our souls.

My point is the underlined piece. We strive to make thoughts perfect.
These sentences do that:

My father was right: you could make anybody amazing just by insisting they were.
-”What We Know About the Lost Aztec Children” by Elizabeth McCracken

She thought of a hotel room in Mazatlan whose door had just been slammed, it seemed forever, waking up two hundred birds down in the lobby; a sunrise over the library slope at Cornell University that nobody out on it had seen because the slope faced west; a dry, disconsolate tune from the fourth movement of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra; a whitewashed bust of Jay Gould that Pierce kept over the bed on a shelf so narrow for it she’d always had the hovering fear it would someday topple on them.
-The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

On heart-broken pretense of entreating a cup of cold water, fiends in human form had got into lonely dwellings, nor retired until a dark deed had been done.
-Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
I sleep with a glass of water on the nightstand so I can see by its level if the coastal earth is trembling or if the shaking is still me.
-”In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel

“I get the idea perfectly, Mickey,” said Archimboldi, thinking all the while that this man was not only irritating but ridiculous, with the particular ridiculousness of self-dramatizers and poor fools convinced they’ve been present at a decisive moment in history, when it’s common knowledge, thought Archimboldi, that history, which is a simple whore, has no decisive moments but is a proliferation of instants, brief interludes that vie with one another in monstrousness.”
-2666 by Roberto BolaƱo

Best, and Merry Xmas :-


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