creative ramblings & reverie

Friday, June 28, 2013

Writing Spaces

Writing oneself:  the possibilities of being anything you want.
“I didn't find my story; it found me, as autobiography always does: finds you out in your deepest most private places.”
—Kelly Cherry, The Exiled Heart:  A Meditative Autobiography
“I'm working on my own life story. I don't mean I'm putting it together; no, I'm taking it apart. If you'd wanted the narrative line you should have asked earlier, when I still knew everything and was more than willing to tell. That was before I discovered the virtues of scissors, the virtues of matches.” 
—Margaret Atwood, The Tent

image:  She Who Is

Composing the Self

In the photograph a woman entering her middle age sits crosslegged on the ground between two ancient red clay storage jars bigger than she is, her arm affectionately around the swell of one of them.  Though the midday sun is on her she looks cool in a white cotton t-shirt and loose drawstring pants the color and texture of celery seed.   The wrist that’s visible is enlaced in one of those elaborate Greek bracelets which you can buy for about a dollar in any shop on the islands and which leave an intricate dark mark along your skin like a tattoo where the fake gold coating rubs off.  She’s thirty-five, in that photo, but wears it well.  The jars, Minoan pithoi, are some four thousand, and have worn well too—remarkably so, given the number and intensity of earthquakes there on Crete.

            Mar is pleased with the composition.  It shows her just the way she wanted, she thinks.  Amused, defiant, a little ironic.  Accepting who she is, for a change; ready to face her critics head-on.  And the pithoi—the slow speed film has captured them well, grainy and flawed and wonderful.  Their history tangible in them.  She studies the photo in the borrowed London flat just before Christmas, and can’t wait to get back to Crete in January, to find out what will happen to that woman.

—Christie, excerpt from Reading the Stones (first draft)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing Spaces

Writing summer . . . from within.

image:  The Beauty of Arts


Let the words take me, for I am of words alone.
I have tried to be different things and have failed,
losing even the words, losing myself in gibberish.

I have taken stone and ink in hand,
have taken on the satin mask of mime,
have fashioned wings of bone and kite string.

I have taken other bones, and onions, and have made
soup, but no poetry.  Broth is not my medium—
thinner than lifeblood, and only nourishing.

I have taken up the palette knife,
and cut cheese with it:  a red round of gouda
that looked good on the plate but not the page.

And as a watercolor painter finds a bit of marble,
thinks it would be fine to carve a tortured face,
and fails—and thinks because of it he is no artist
after all, so have I tried bending to my purpose

those stuffs that are not mine.  I must run now
and overtake the words before they’re gone:
let them swarm over me, cleaning the bones.

(August 1979
Oakland/San Francisco)