we see into the life of things

School was finally out Wednesday, and having looked forward to time to read and write for the last several weeks, I am now enjoying the quiet solitude of days where I don’t have to speak to anyone (except for the dogs). I started the summer with fiction, something I don’t usually read during the school year. Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor was a poignant character study, full of pathos and math, and the story of Peter Heller’s The Painter lived up to one of the best openings I’ve read in a long time:

“I never imagined I would shoot a man. Or be a father. Or live so far from the sea.
As a child, you imagine your life sometimes, how it will be.
I never thought I would be a painter. That I might make a world and walk into it and forget myself. That art would be something I would not have any way of not doing.”

That last line. This is how I feel when the writing is going well, that I am in a world where I forget myself. And how writing has become something I cannot imagine “not doing.”

I have been reading poetry as well, re-reading Octavio Paz’s Piedra Del Sol (Sunstone) as well as lots of issues of journals I bookmarked during the busy days of April and May. I have also been following Emari DiGiorgio‘s poem-a-day for Tupelo Press – every draft has been a winner. Read for yourself as she blogs about each day’s draft.

Drafting. Although I don’t know how well I would react to a public commitment to writing a poem a day, I have drafted a poem each day since Wednesday. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), two of the poems have been responses to current news, not something I normally do. Suffice it to say that the news has made me think a lot about safety and ignorance – the poems are trying to make sense of that. If anything can.

Which leads us to the title of this post. Good advice from Wordsworth:

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things ~William Wordsworth

 

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