Thursday, October 30, 2014

Little Pink Notebook (Part 2)

Fragments of a Life

I thank you, reader, for your patience with me.

What began last week as something intended to be short and simple turned into (as all my posts do) a lengthy rant. In last week's case, a sort of Divine Praises to Mary Oliver. (Non-Catholics, sorry for the vague reference. Catholics, sorry for any unintended blasphemy in my humor.) At any rate, clearly the adoring fan-girl side got the better of me.

To continue last week's discussion, I was describing Mary Oliver's portrayal of the habits of the writer, and how the little notebook she carries demonstrates a constancy in artmaking, a series of daily rituals that never end. It's a way of life I have yet to perfect, but one I am striving for always. Or rather, better to say that my environment is demanding it always.

To quote another recent favorite female author, Virginia Woolf -- that frustrating but magnificently deep writer of the unconscious -- "Passing, glimpsing, everything seems accidentally but miraculously sprinkled with beauty" ("Street Haunting"). Everything I encounter calls for attention. Every image on the street is a detail -- who's to say how vital a detail -- in a story I don't know. Every stranger or even friend I pass by, as I catch snippets of their conversation or notice an expression on their face, is carrying a life-story, one that I will probably never know to the full -- yet, "into each of these lives one could penetrate a little way."

These observations are fragments, fragments of stories everywhere. Pieces that the writer gathers and ties together to make something whole out of it all. At the end of the day, every fragment of my life is a piece of the story I am longing to write.

And so, Ms. Oliver, here is my humble tribute to your small notebook, your "Pen and Paper and a Breath of Air," all your glorious writing habits. My descriptions, single words, equations, poetic phrases -- but most of all, my fragments:

Excerpts from a Little Pink Notebook

The thrill of being that first bird who breaks the blue morning silence

A father gently shaking the child in his arms at the most intense parts of the music, to let her feel physically what is occurring in him spiritually

Is it only I who finds Whitman to be repulsively full of himself?

afraid. a-frayed.

A sparrow drops soundlessly. I've always admired them for their reclusive nature, for speaking only when absolutely necessary.

Priest praying in his sing-song Vietnamese.

limned, cul-de-sac, perspicuity, peccadillo, eidolon, gyroscopically, coterie

the quiet anger of blue clouds

The first streak of autumn in the tree's hair.

I misplaced myself somewhere.

Post-it notes on every piece of furniture -- someone attempting to learn another language: "das Fester," "der Stuhl," "Isst du den Kase?", "Der Kase is gut!"

(Music notes) Imagine you are talking to a wall and must sing inside your head.

Pain ought to be used as a medium to desire beauty and goodness, not as a means to shun it.

Glowing ice-cube as a signature. Tinkerbell drowning in a glass.

"Please be open," he said, and then I realized he was talking about the door.

Obsession with sunrises / sunsets: when the sky is more alive than the rest of the world below.

peppered with mold

Dots of birds darted across the sky like fruitflies; solid wall of clouds.

trenchant, pavonine, peripatetic

He looked at women the way some men look at landscapes, or Vermeers.

Mountain with trees: balding head with uneven hairs

There was always cooking. My mother cooked hours ahead and sometimes days ahead, meals that would be gone under ten minutes.

Sun and color is too busy. Gray allows one to think clearly. This is the best kind of day, after rain.

a rosemary girl

I cannot write entirely alone. For even if I am sitting in an empty study during the midnight hours, I must know that there is someone dreaming in the next room.

exilic, odontonoid, tumefy, demesne, pandurate

"describe your feeling"
"there is no way to describe this feeling"
"describe its indescribability then"

I send you the moon

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