Rivers of language coming down out of the night sky

We prepared many books for the trip.

We realized we don’t read enough.

We argued over the books for weeks. Good arguments. How much Lorrie Moore do you need? Lots. Junot Diaz in hardback? Where’s the other Aimee Bender book? I want to take Jill Bialosky too. What about this book on the new journalism. Can Tayari Jones fit? Lorca, Philip Dick.

We travel light so that means no checking suitcases. We have to bring enough books for three weeks.

We realize that we’re tired all the time.

We go out for sushi one last time before we leave. We’re not that hungry but we want sushi. We garden. We drink Yerba Mate tea.

Jared comes over and the gardening and the talking and lunch thread the hours. Nicelle and I do a nine mile run. Nicelle talks about ambition. I say, Hush, hush. Which is easier to say when you’re fifty than thirty.

I don’t know if I want to be a contender. I want to finish this one book in Greece and for it to be a good book. By the end of this year, I want to start a new book and for that book to be a good book. Like that.

I want to read more. Sleep more.

I plan to swim in Greece, walk in Ireland, think everywhere. In Ireland I am teaching a workshop and we are breathing in the cool wet air.

We need to quiet down, to calm down, to remember where we came from and where we are going. What we are supposed to be doing is writing and thinking.

Tobi called us and called her dad. She’s a good egg. Why do they say someone is a good egg?

The flight to Ireland is long and we stop off in Heathrow. The flight from Heathrow to Athens is short.

When you fly a long distance, your life trails below you. It’s nice to have it so far away.

Ask yourself, am I doing this right? Is this what I want?

We have a great deal of mint growing. And some yarrow.

When I get back, I’m going to start Pilates all over.

I like to feel my head clear and it doesn’t happen often enough.

There’s a book called White Noise that Mark and I both read by Don Delilo. We tried to read more of him but we couldn’t get ourselves further. Some writers don’t have multiple good books.

There’s a big story you want to write, but when you walk into it, there are so many words to get marching in the page that you start to feel like a drill sergeant when you wanted to feel like a virtuoso violinist.

Did you love the blank page? Did you lean into it and whisper? Did you say, Yes, I have language for you, rivers of it, coming down out of the night sky?
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Published in: on June 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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