It never happens like that

Heidi-Julavits
What I failed to mention, however, was my recent worry: As a writer, I have mistaken how to use words. I write too much. I write like some people talk to fill silence. When I write, I am trying through the movement of my fingers to reach my head. I’m trying to build a word ladder up to my brain. Eventually these words, help me come to an idea, and then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite what I’d already written (when I had no idea what I was writing about) until the path of thinking, in retrospect, feels immediate. What’s on the page appears to have busted out of my head and traveled down my arms and through my fingers and my keyboard and coalesced on the screen. But it didn’t happen like that; it never happens like that.

~ Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock: A Diary


Notes: Author Bio: Heidi Julavits.  Photo: Bustle.com

(I Want to) x (26) + BAM!

Louise-Bourgeois-I-want

Psychoanalytical musings of Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010).


Source: sleepwalking.nu

 

This is faith. This is spirituality. (God or No God. My Truth.)

Scott-Avett-Avett-Brothers

Those who are proud of what they create, and who help others through it, should count themselves lucky, for this is the seed that grows the vine that traces the path that takes each of us on a spiritual journey with no end or resting place, a journey that can only be guided by the faith and can only lead to the flood of light at the final interruption of our life’s journey. Our hands and minds, legs and mouths, eyes and ears, arms and feet were all made with purpose, and though you may never find that exact purpose, it is your obligation to yourself and God to search for it, and to search endlessly for a perfection that, though you will never achieve it, you must seek. This is faith. This is spirituality.

— Scott Avett, “My Search For Truth”


Notes:

 

No more tears. Here’s to good outcomes.

tear-drop

It’s a ritual before bedtime.
Nightly.
Now running for 14 months.

I stand in front of the bathroom mirror.
Take a deep breath.
Raise my left hand to pull down the lower left lid,
Raise my right hand to apply a thin stream of the prophylactic.
And if I had a third hand (and was a Believer),
I would make the sign of the cross, look to the heavens, and whisper:
Work your magic. Please.

Sodium Chloride Ophthalmic Ointment.
Generic Brand.
40% cheaper than the Name brand.
Found and bought on Amazon.
Produced in Lake Forest, Illinois by some unknown bucket shop.
You are one strange dude. You don’t think twice about the risk of a no-name eyeball lube bought on the web but refuse to buy generic Raisin Bran cereal at your local Stop ‘n Shop.

Apply every 3 to 4 hours, or as directed by Doctor.
Ophthalmologist’s instructions were nightly. And nightly it is.
For temporary relief of corneal edema.
edema: the collection of excess of watery fluid.

But that’s not the real pain point.
Which is… [Read more…]

Truth (and not just for the young)

john-jay-lessons


See more on John C. Jay here: aiga.org.  Image via goodvibes.co

She’s 15.

The Magic of a Train

To the Editor:

Re “Our Trouble With Trains,” by Richard White (Op-Ed, May 19):

I love trains. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and I ride the commuter train to and from my high school in the city every day. It’s been a year since I began taking the train; the charm hasn’t worn off yet.

There’s something magical about stepping onto the train — it transports you to a world where politeness is the norm. Talk in a lowered voice to avoid disturbing other passengers. Move your bags if someone needs to sit down next to you. Hold the door for the people walking behind you. The knowledge that choosing the train over a car helps the environment brings an extra rush of pleasure.

I adore this microcosm of etiquette and patience, and I feel that if more people experienced the satisfaction of a good train ride, they would be more willing to invest in passenger trains. Fixing our railroad system does not require us to suddenly leap to the level of the high-speed, luxurious trains in Europe and Japan; it could start with small improvements to the commuter trains that people take every day.

~ ALIA ABIAD, 15, St. Ignatius College Prep, 9th grade in Western Springs, Ill.


On May 15th, The New York Times announced An Invitation to High School Students, introducing a letter-writing competition where students were invited to submit a letter to the editor in response to a news article, editorial, column or Op-Ed essay in The Times.

Check out the other winners’ submissions here: The Voices of Students: The Winners Are…

This blog is my boat

woman-mist-peace-acceptance

this blog is my boat, these words are my oars, and there’s a storm in the distance that will take them all apart.  i will be fine.  if i can’t find a piece of a word to hold me up, and in truth that’s asking a lot of some vowels and consonants – not their job, after all – i will float on my back, face against the rain.  it won’t last forever.  the boat may sink, but that has nothing to do with me.  i am free.  gone with the rain.

d smith kaich jones


Credits: Photo – Vanni Jung Ståhle via mpd. Quote – Thank you Make Believe Boutique

Write Shorter

write,writing,writer,blog,

Read more by Josh Bernoff: 10 top writing tips and the psychology behind them


Not as well as Yo-Yo Ma, but still, to touch the hem of the gown that is art itself

ann-patchett-

Why is it that we understand playing the cello will require work, but we attribute writing to the magic of inspiration? Chances are, any child who stays with an instrument for more than two weeks has some adult making her practice, and any child who sticks with it longer than that does so because she understands that practice makes her play better and that there is a deep, soul-satisfying pleasure in improvement. If a person of any age picked up the cello for the first time and said, “I’ll be playing in Carnegie Hall next month!” you would pity their delusion, yet beginning fiction writers all across the country polish up their best efforts and send them off to The New Yorker. Perhaps you’re thinking here that playing an instrument is not an art itself but an interpretation of the composer’s art, but I stand by my metaphor. The art of writing comes way down the line, as does the art of interpreting Bach. Art stands on the shoulders of craft, which means that to get to the art you must master the craft. If you want to write, practice writing. Practice it for hours a day, not to come up with a story you can publish, but because you long to learn how to write well, because there is something that you alone can say. Write the story, learn from it, put it away, write another story. Think of a sink pipe filled with sticky sediment. The only way to get clean water is to force a small ocean through the tap. Most of us are full up with bad stories, boring stories, self-indulgent stories, searing works of unendurable melodrama. We must get all of them out of our system in order to find the good stories that may or may not exist in the freshwater underneath. […]

Does this sound like a lot of work without any guarantee of success? Well, yes, but it also calls into question our definition of success. Playing the cello, we’re more likely to realize that the pleasure is the practice, the ability to create this beautiful sound; not to do it as well as Yo-Yo Ma, but still, to touch the hem of the gown that is art itself… I got better at closing the gap between my hand and my head by clocking in the hours, stacking up the pages. Somewhere in all my years of practice, I don’t know where exactly, I arrived at the art. […]

Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. […]

I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.

~ Ann Patchett. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Harper Perennial, 2014)


Source: Brain Pickings – The Workhorse and the Butterfly: Ann Patchett on Writing and Why Self-Forgiveness Is the Most Important Ingredient of Great Art

Morning Call

sleep-anna-vihastaya-photography

You start with a wisp of memory, or some detail that won’t let you be. You write, you cross out. You write again, revise, feel like giving up. What pulls you through? Curiosity.

~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir



It’s an all-night dance at The Alibi.

The strobes, the churning, my personal whitewater at the base of a long spillway of a hydroelectric dam.

I pull the left shoulder back and tug it hard to roll away from a throbbing right, and then settle heavily on the left. A desperate search for comfort.

A handless re-positioning of the knee pillow, a defensive moat shielding bone on bone impact, a life-to-date action now into the tens of thousands. And counting.

Voices drift into the dreamless oblivion. The unreal is more powerful than the real…Stone crumbles. Wood rots…But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on.¹

A chill, a pulling up of the covers, and the play repeats.

Left shoulder pull
Right shoulder roll
Right knee tuck
Left knee slide
Voices
Covers

They can go on and on…


Notes: