April 7, 2009

Blue Monkey

Robert Frost said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."

Last Friday I pulled into an aging mall to see what bargains the local department store had, now that it had declared itself to be going out of business, our community's contribution to the financial crisis. This other store, a neighboring anchor, had closed sometime before. I'm sure it's not earthquake, or fire or whatever code, but the textured bricks in bands with that fabulous grillwork really caught my eye.

When I turned around to leave, this blue monkey was across the irrigation canal, waving from atop Shoe Town. Surprise.

I was in a different area, having come from seeing a friend's short film at the local film festival in a small mountain town. Going up that mountain had been no small degree of terror, for the fog was so thick the only thing that kept me from going off the edge of the cliff, or into the guardrails, or into another car was the steady bright yellow double-painted lines on the gray pavement. I'd never driven in fog so thick. The chance to see what my friend had wrought pulled me up the mountain when I wanted to turn back. (She won a silver for her film.) Afterward the fog had cleared enough so that instead of terror, it was merely romantic and "fog-shrouded," or whatever the cliche is.

Sometimes the writing is just like that. We seem to scribble without a clear vision, hoping the piece will arrive. Sometimes I hit it. Too many times I miss.

Eudora Welty:
No two stories ever go the same way, although in different hands one story might possibly go any one of a thousand ways; and though the words may look the same from outside, it is a new and different labyrinth every time. What tells the author his way? Nothing at all but what he knows inside himself; the same thing that hints to him afterward how far he has missed it, how near he may have come to the heart of it.

Re-reading these quotes reminds me of how I miss the writing, and hope that if I'm fog-shrouded or distracted, somehow I'll find my way clear.

1 comment:

  1. This post really touched home with me today!