My blog buddy Dannie Hill recently published a touching post, Heart Words, about writing that make us feel a real connection between characters, and in turn ourselves. His post made me think about what I admire in writers and what kinds of words are difficult for me to write.
I have a high regard for authoritative writing: Gore Vidal’s unwavering confidence, Camille Pagilla’s erudite swagger, Chris Hedge’s revelatory bravery. But in my own writing I lean toward another of my favorite writers, Joan Didion’s, methods “ it seems…perhaps… I think…” Because, as she quotes Lionel Trilling, I too believe, “Some paradox of our nature leads us, when once we have made our fellow man the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.”
This week’s recitation, Rice, by Mary Oliver is an ideal example of authoritative writing. She affirms my belief that poetry is the most effective arena in which to make our demands on society, and, the best language for effecting change. Hear it here, then walk out into the fields…
Today is my birthday, I‘m 46 years old. I think. Wait– I have to count 1966, 76… yep 46. I do this every year because on my 33rd birthday I thought I was 34 and on my 34th birthday I told a friend I was 35 and she said, No you’re not, you’re 34, and she was right! That was the best birthday present ever; she gave me a whole year.
Something I appreciate about my birthday is that it falls right in the middle of the year, so I feel I have my very own New Year, and if there are things that I wanted to accomplish that year, and as is often the case, not yet begun, I have my own New Year and 6 months left to get them done. This is the kind of reasoning that emerges from a Cancer- Gemini cusp mind. You may not be followers of astrology (nor am I in an organized manner), so I will explain that the Gemini symbol are the twins, and they are renowned for vacillating characters. The Cancer symbol is a crab, and they are well known for their moodiness, so I like to think of myself as the triplets, which is why the Walt Whitman quote,
“Contradict myself? Yes then, I contradict myself, I contain multitudes,” is my motto. Continue reading →