Friday, November 30, 2007


In my writing, I’m pursuing two stories involving loss of sight, and one about kindness and hospitality. I’m also pounding away at two essays by David James Duncan. I’m at the end of the quarter and need to edit, edit, edit my work but on my way I’m making a note: At some point I wake up and all my story lines intertwine in a confusing tangle. My blind friend offered life-changing hospitality, making workdays a joy. Duncan asks “how to see more?” how to peel back the layers of blindness. Even the story about the depths of the ocean, and mortality, is also about the perception of light. Sight and seeing, simple thoughtfulness and the willingness to see truly with such sight as one has, to see, as Duncan suggests, with the ability to illuminate, to see in such a way that gives light and even to see in a way that brings healing.

I ask myself, now which of these stories needs to include that line from Bruce Cockburn?

All the diamonds in the world that mean anything to me
Are conjured up by wind and sunlight sparkling on the sea…

And the answer seems to be, all of them.

My work is due in less than a week, and I couldn’t wrangle all of these story lines to converge, even if I wanted to. I just letting you know: it’s one life, one story. I’m writing pieces as best I can, reading as well as I can. It’s good to wake up in a tangle.

Now I need to pick one strand and get to work.

Annotations nine, ten, and eleven are complete. One more book and its accompanying annotation is due, but I CAN’T READ ANOTHER THING until I work on the REAL writing.

Draft two of critical essay is still not remotely meaty enough. (I swoon instead of critiquing. What good is a swoon? If readers want a swoon, they’ll read David James Duncan for themselves!) And at least two of my three essay lines need Massive Overhaul. I’m thinking I’ll get physical, print them out one essay at a time and use scissors to cut pieces and rearrange them on my new floor. In college, I used to write longhand on legal pads for my college courses, and I’d often run out of tape, crafting long scrolls for the (poor) typist and hoping my papers contained “enough.” It might work, who knows?

1 comment:

Jenny Hillebrand said...

You describe where you are so well! For me, I often look back and realise how much I enjoyed something that was hard work at the time - you challenge me to be aware of the enjoyment while it is happening. Riches!