April 27th, 2005
ways of seeing
Last night I started “As I Lay Dying” and find myself wanting to do nothing but read. I love when a book takes hold of you immediately instead of trying to push and plod your way through something in a forced way. How many books have you started and felt guilty about not finishing, or not wanting to finish? I find as I get older I am much more able to get into the guts of a novel if it grips me, to sit with the language and let the characters become real entities (as if they truly exist in my world). When I finished the Road Home I was convinced that I could go visit the old farmhouse, have dinner there, and know that everything was just as Harrison left it, (the paintings on the walls, the dogs, Frieda).
But the most beautiful thing about good writing for me is that I find in many ways it tunes me into my own world more, forcing me to pay attention. I am presented with a way of looking, or rather a new way of seeing. After reading a passage about a breeze that runs through an old house carrying voices with it, i become fixated on this idea. I picture words and whispers moving around my own house on small wind currents. drafts carrying secrets. As I walk through town today to get the mail I will wonder what words the wind will bring me. Will they be dampened by the rain?
I have started leaving words on dead tree trunks for others to find. They are sometimes hard to see, you have to be really paying attention.
or you have to be wanting to find them.
“A feather dropped near the front door will rise and brush along the ceiling, slanting backward, until it reaches the down-turning current at the back door: so with voices. As you enter the hall, they sound as though they were speaking out of the air about your head.” ~William Faulkner