When given the opportunity to promote my blog through the local newspaper I write for, I had to stop and think, how would I describe this blog?
I reached out to the people I care about most and who I feel would know me and understand my writing. And I did some research about words and writing and how we approach the archiving of our thoughts, our inspirations, our fiction and our lives.
Amongst my googling, I came across an author who I would like to have a glass of wine with. Nicole Krauss. Beautiful writing which resonated with my unspoken thoughts. The quotes came from a book which I would like to read. Once I have completed the three books remaining on my finishing list. The interesting thing about Nicole, at least it is interesting to me, is that she is married to Jonathan Safran Foer, also an author. Foer wrote Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a story narrated by a 9 year old following the death of his father in the twin towers on September 11, 2011. I have read this novel. And I felt very drawn to the protagonist as he searches to make sense of loss and connection and self-destruction and self-preservation.
Obviously I don’t know Jonathan Safran Foer. But, on reading about Nicole Krauss today and discovering that she is married to Foer, I had a two degrees of separation moment. Nicole’s (and I’m not quite sure why I am referring to her by her first name and him by his second name…perhaps it’s a woman thing) book, A History of Love, came out in the same year as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and critics have drawn comparisons between the two. Whether that is fair or inevitable is probably a moot point. Couples talk. At least, you hope they do. There are probably shared ideas and reactions and explorations.
But to get back to me. And my blog. What I read of Nicole Klauss made me wonder why I write when she has so perfectly espoused the ideas and the observations and the pain and the joy already. Let me share some of the quotes with you, so you understand what I am saying. There are a few quotes and if you abhor when writers reference other writers, then please do skip over this. But please understand, for me this was momentous.
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
“When will you learn that there isn’t a word for everything?”
“So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days, you can hear their chorus rushing past: IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon’tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglass-I’veneverlovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgiveme….
There was a time when it wasn’t uncommon to use a piece of string to guide words that otherwise might falter on the way to their destinations. Shy people carried a little bunch of string in their pockets, but people considered loudmouths had no less need for it, since those used to being overheard by everyone were often at a loss for how to make themselves heard by someone. The physical distance between two people using a string was often small; sometimes the smaller the distance, the greater the need for the string.
The practice of attaching cups to the ends of string came much later. Some say it is related to the irrepressible urge to press shells to our ears, to hear the still-surviving echo of the world’s first expression. Others say it was started by a man who held the end of a string that was unraveled across the ocean by a girl who left for America.
When the world grew bigger, and there wasn’t enough string to keep the things people wanted to say from disappearing into the vastness, the telephone was invented.
Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person’s silence.”
“I like to think the world wasn’t ready for me, but maybe the truth is that I wasn’t ready for the world. I’ve always arrived too late for my life.”
“Then I turned the page and at the top it said THINGS I MISS ABOUT M and there was a list of 15 things, and the first was THE WAY HE HOLDS THINGS. I did not understand how you can miss the way somebody holds things.”
The author herself, explains the reason behind her writing:
“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost.”
I’d like to rephrase the world and perhaps that is it, this need to be heard through my observations and reflections.
I have recently undertaken a Sex and the City marathon. Having never ever watched it before, I have osmosis-ed it in a very short space of time. For better or worse. It has cultural importance.
It really does! As with a few things, I was late in my acknowledgement of its importance.
Tonight I watched the very last episode and again I was struck by another – my new hero, Carrie Bradshaw’s (fictional words):
“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”
For me, writing is about noticing and feeling and sharing.
Thank you to those who summed up my blog in words I had hoped for but couldn’t find myself.