from: Babe <email@example.com>
to: Gordon Flanders <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Friday, April 15, 2016 at 9.35 AM
I am reading Hemingway’s short story, Mr and Mrs Elliot, and there’s this line:
She had seemed younger, in fact she had seemed not to have any age at all, when Elliot married her after several weeks of making love to her after knowing her for a long time in her tea shop before he had kissed her one evening.
and I think I’d like to be that kind of a writer: not frightened of words, comfortable setting them loose on the page, deft with a comma, semi-colon, the long dash. I have a suspicion that writing, like life, requires vast space and horizon.
Let me tell you about another book I read– no, that’s a lie, I read a third, but I couldn’t finish it because the book explores the cracked earth of a divorce. It captures in tropical April heat what women look like, smell like, think, feel when their husbands leave them for another woman. How it can make you question your absolute sense of self.
On page 12 of Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment:
So I learned to speak little and in a thoughtful manner, never to hurry, not to run even for the bus, but rather to draw out as long as possible the time for reaction, filling it with puzzled looks, uncertain smiles…And to keep under control the anxieties of change I had, finally, taught myself to wait patiently until every emotion imploded and could come out in a tone of calm, my voice held back in my throat so that I would not make a spectacle of myself.
But it resonates with me, the idea to live under such restraint, to ‘not make a spectacle of myself’.
My acupuncturist says I must now exist in yin to heal: hide behind dark curtains, do little, say even less, stare at the ceiling. I didn’t understand at first what a muted life had to do with healing. But I get it now.
It is the last day of Songkran, Thailand’s new year celebrations.
And I feel new too.
from: Gordon Flanders <email@example.com>
to: Babe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Thur, Mar 31, 2016 at 6:07 PM
subject: thanks for poetry
Thank you for the Bukowski poem. I am glad you finally got your secret weapon. I hope you use it for all it’s worth as often as possible, and not just on special moonlit Tuesday’s.
But there is something about a moonlit Tuesday, isn’t there? Yes I know just what you mean. It’s hard to wait for the right moment, but it’s the waiting that makes the moment right.
Does it take madness to write? It takes madness, yes. In a world like this, madness is the cause and the result. Until the whole world is mad, the writer will find work. To create or to find peace? Try peace first to see if it suits you. You can always return to the maelstrom.
I hope the accupuncture continues to relieve you of your merciless tormentor, and like I always say, never trust a man with a thousand tiny needles unless you know for sure that his homeland has been razed from the map. They don’t make them anywhere else.
I am going back to work now. Give my love to everything you see today.