Thursday, May 13, 2010

"And everything? It's going to be okay."

It's that time again.

And, you got it, the metaphor in these photos (which I took this past Christmas in Montreal) is apt: life is spinning like a top. Although, it's slowing and stopping every now and again. Just enough to read part of a good book. And maybe stare off into space a little bit.

I've got it down to only two or three books out of the library at a time now. I'll start there and see if the rest of life follows.

Today I'm quoting, letting other ladies' words speak for me, showing you some good, good words I've read lately.

From Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within," (Boston: Shambhala Books, 1986) there are two selections. Here we go.

The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world, and why not finally carry that secret out with our bodies into the living rooms and porches, backyards and grocery stores? Let the whole thing flower: the poem and the person writing the poem. And let us always be kind in this world.
(p. 120)

When I was in Jerusalem for three months I had an Israeli landlady in her fifties. Her TV was broken and she called the repairman. It took him four visits to fix the screen. "But you knew even before he came the first time what was wrong. He could have brought the correct tube and fixed it immediately." She looked at me in astonishment. "Yes, but then we couldn't have had a relationship, sat and drunk tea and discussed the progress of the repairs." Of course, the goal is not to fix a machine but to have relationships.

That is good to remember. What is important is not just what you do--"I am writing a book"--but how you do it, how you approach it, and what you come to value.

A friend living upstairs from me once said, "Natalie, you have relationships with everything, not just with people. You have a relationship with the stairs, your porch, the car, the cornfields, and the clouds." We are a part of everything. When we understand this, we see that we are not writing, but everything is writing through us. Kate and I wrote through each other and through Mondays and through the streets and the coffee. Like bleeding one color into another.
(p. 117-118)

And from "Cleaving: a story of marriage, meat, and obsession" by Julie Powell (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009)...

The embrace Eric encircles me in then is full and deep and both familiar and strange. I lean my head against his shoulder. I can feel his tears when they fall on my cheek, but he isn't racked with sobs, he isn't pulling me so tightly to him that it's like he wants me to slip back inside his skin. "You know what? I'm so fucking tired of being scared," he says.

"I don't want to scare you, I just need to--"

"That's not what I mean." He takes me lightly by the shoulders and pulls away to look at me. Our faces are wet, but we don't attempt to dry each other. "Life is messy. I'm tired of being scared of that. We'll deal with it. Things are going to happen, or not happen, and life is going to change, one way or the other, and I'm tired of being terrified, angry that I can't keep everything the same, the way it was. You know? I don't want everything to be the way it was. So this is what we're going to do. We're just going to see. It's uncertain, and it's probably going to hurt, and we just don't know, and you know what? I'm fine with that. I love you."

"I love you."

"And everything? It's going to be okay. It's going to be great. We're just going to see."


We kiss, for the first time in months really. And then we make gumbo. Eric chops, I devein shrimp, he looks over my shoulder with glee, as he always does, when I make the roux the Paul Prudhomme way, with fantastic heat and smoke and finesse. We know how to move around in the kitchen together. After all, we've been doing it our entire lives.
(p 295-6)

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