Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where Shall I Put All These Gifts?

I went to an amazing class yesterday - The Lyric Documentary. And even though I'm bitter number three on the waiting list I thought I'd share an excerpt from a handout that was given to us.

From "Walker Evans And The Picture Postcard" an excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift:

"The sun playing on various objects along the [right] side of the street - like a Magpie picking out the tiny things that glittered. And at the end of it, where it was crossed by the wide ravine of the railroad, a cloud of locomotive steam suddenly appeared from the right of the bridge; disintegrated against its iron ribs; then immediately loomed white again on the other side; and wavily streamed away, through the gaps in the trees. Crossing the bridge after this, Fyodor, as usual, was gladdened by the wonderful poetry of the railroad banks; by their free and diversified nature; a growth of locusts and swallows; wild grass; bees; butterflies - all this lived in isolation and unconcern, in the harsh vicinity of coal dust glistening below, between the five streams of rails, and in the blissful estrangement from the city coulisses above; from the peeled walls of old houses toasting their tatooed banks in the morning sunshine.

Where shall I put all the gifts with which the summer morning rewards me, and only me? Save them up for future books? Use them immediately for a practical handbook called "How to be Happy?" Or, getting deeper, to the bottom of things, understand what is concealed behind all this: behind the play, the sparkle the thick green greasepaint of the foliage?

For there really is something - there is something! And one wants to offer thanks, but there is no one to thank."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

First day of graduate school means I have to start doing things I've been putting off for way too long. Like tweezing my eyebrows. Like changing that bulb on the ceiling light. Like writing this blog. So here I am, my attempt to get my words to you as fast as I possibly can.

At my orientation for my MFA program yesterday one of the professors compared becoming a writer to volunteering to become a manic depressive. I laughed it off, but I looked around at the other slightly worried faces and began to think - is it possible to be a writer...and be happy? The odds seem against us - a depressed, alcholic, narcissistic writer - yes. But a well- balanced, functional human being who enjoys writing, loves it, intends to devote her whole life to it, but who would sometimes rather just drink a pitcher of sangria in the middle of the day, and can still get her shit done - can this be possible? I say...yes! Yes, she can. Yes, she will.

You will laugh here, maybe you will cry - I won't judge you, maybe you will want to be a better person because of this, or maybe you will want to pack your things and move to an island somewhere very far away and never speak to me again. But my hope is that you willl want to stay and keep reading. And you will see, this I'm sure of, that the beauty was there all along.

Please stay tuned as I continue this journey, friend. Your presence would be greatly appreciated.