Posted in composition, COVID-19, creativity, Fathers, holidays, writing

Moving On….

Painting by Philip Froman

The painting above has no title. My father completed this when he was in his eighties, after taking up a brush for the first time in his seventies. If you look closely, and listen, you can almost hear the water crash against the cliffs, feel its force. Standing in direct contrast to this painting, is a lake scene he painted around the same time which conveys only silence and peace. Both represent the man he was, his reflections about his life, and acceptance of the choices he’d made.

***

For over a year I’ve been trying to sustain the appearance of writing, while not having any interest in writing. Other than the words on this blog, and the occasional letters to family and friends, I’ve produced nothing.

I can’t blame the virus, as tempting as it is. The ideas, and desire to shape them, started drying up long before COVID-19. It just took a year of solitude to accept it.

***

A composer friend suggested I should start composing again—tentatively, gently, as though he understood he was asking me to revisit a space I’d shuttered. I stopped composing after graduate school, for many of the same reasons I don’t write now.

I considered it briefly, grateful for the compliment, but then abandoned the idea. Sometimes we shutter spaces because they’ve become voids; and sometimes those voids become vacuums.

***

For the present, I will keep this site going. Information about books will remain, as will old posts, interviews, and guest posts. From time to time I might even recycle old material I think would be of interest, or entertain.

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Wherever you are, please stay safe, be well, and care deeply for those you love. And thank you for reading and following.

©2021 All Rights Reserved

Posted in metaphor, poetry, writing

Doors

Before the hare, before the hole,
before the twisted dream,
there was the door, its frame petite,
its contents undisclosed.

Was she deceived?
Did she believe the world beyond
would match its portal’s size?

Or was it hope
that made her drink,
despite the waistcoat, watch,
and steep descent?
A rabbit’s warning cry?

Too late, I fear, too late.

How soon until we wake?

©2017 All Rights Reserved

Posted in human nature, writing

Narration

René Magritte, Le Principe Du Plaisir, 1937

I talk to myself. When I shop, cook, read, practice (sometimes), go for long walks—I imagine and comment often unconsciously, no matter who’s around. And I always write out loud…always.

It’s not enough for me to see characters talk to each other on the page, express themselves through inner monologues, or confess their longings in letters; I have to hear them do it. Nothing about them or their situation feels concrete until my ear can process their voices. The same is true for an objective narrator. I have to hear the narration in order to see the scene and action.

I started talking to myself when I started reading, an offshoot, I suppose, of being read to by my parents. When I started school, I read everything I needed to learn aloud; and when I got older, I learned to keep my voice low so I wouldn’t disturb anyone around me, or become the subject of ridicule or fear. I still have sharp memories of the warning issued by one of my math teachers when there were whispers in class: “There are only two types of people in this world who talk to themselves; and none of you are millionaires. The men in the white coats will be coming for you soon.”

In my youth, I didn’t think I was crazy, but how could I be sure? It was the sixties.

Thanks to cell phones, I’m no longer concerned about my habit of talking to myself in public. These days, most people are talking to air—yelling at their kids, coordinating schedules with their mates, or gossiping in a way that invites everyone to eavesdrop. Next to them, my babble about ingredients labels, or what was on the grocery list I left at home, is inaudible, even if my lips are clearly moving. No one cares.

And at home? Well….

A few days ago, my husband came in to my office wanting to know who I was talking to as I was in the thick of a character’s outpourings; but as soon as he saw the page of text on my screen, and the phone receiver resting in place, rather than at my ear, he said, “Oh,” and left without another word. Without blinking.

That’s the wonderfully comforting part of living with someone for a long time.

You can talk to yourself all you want, and it’s just part of another day for them. At least, that’s what I tell myself….

©2019 All Rights Reserved