25 February 2005

Tuck this away for the weekend

Dear Grace,

It's all greek to me.

There may come a day when it is not enough to touch you with words. In the meantime, I choose them carefully and recklessly. I look for the curves and the pulse in the language and try to wrap something around you that will warm you and cause your soul to arc, your spirit to spark.

Yours and mine, God knows.

Look deep down your hollow belly inside and ask yourself in the dark if it's true: does any of this really make any difference at all? Is the skin that separates your beating heart from mine really just the smoothest kind of barbed wire?

Wait. Just how alone are we anyway?

So what if I dream about keeping a journal with you? Would that make me your audience and you mine? We would write our secret universes within and so far only love can make me lift a pen anyway.

So here goes.

Write me.

You have to pick up the pen and move it, she whispers.

You have to leave a crumbtrail of words or you'll never find your way back. You have to step out into the words a hungry orphan and hold hands with someone along the way. You have to be as good to words as you know how and some night when you least expect it you'll find them being good to you. Even later you'll learn to trick yourself into believing someone cares.

She looks away. Oh yeah, one more thing. Inspiration comes afterward, not before.

Still ripping handfuls of pages out of my past and calling it music,

Writer's Block #1
Tongue-tied Avenue
The Grey Ghost


Treena said...

So when this says, by amc, that means you wrote this. That something... Your "crumbtrail of words" is interesting. It reminds me of Dillard twice. She writes in The Writing Life that an artist experiences things that he can describe only with his instruments' faint tracks. (Except she says it so much better than I). And on one of the first pages of the same book, she says that the writing process is nothing that the reader should be allowed to see: "I hope your tracks have grown over. I hope birds ate the crumbs." [I'm quoting from memory so I hope you (or she) will forgive any mistakes.]

I love the way you can track the lineage of a writer. Your ancestors are who you read. This is that intertextuality you told me about. In The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers quotes someone (can't remember whom) who says that an artist's work is more akin to him than even the children he produces. I'll email you an expansion when I have time to re-acquaint myself with it. You should read that Sayers book if you haven't already.

Treena said...

Of course, if you were quoting Linford, the same goes. I just really like that line...

amcorrea said...

Yes, I posted it, but the words actually belong to Linford Detweiler (hence the link). He's the one who introduced me to Annie Dillard nearly 10 (!) years ago. All of your lovely praise is completely accurate--I should pass it on to him. :)

So glad to finally see you here! Yes, email me the Sayers quote when you can and I'll post it.