Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Image, memory

I'm still trying to get used the idea of writing "short" things. I don't mean to be obsessive about this. It's just a little weird to go from a dense novel to a breezy blog. Not that I don't write short stuff all the time along the way. And the novel itself was written in short stages -- mostly in one or two hour segments perched over my notebook at a Starbucks table. Is a blog more like a postcard or note left on the table? I keep trying to think of it as a "column" but I suppose that's more formal. What do you think?

The other morning I was having breakfast with Aaron, my 5-year old. I'd poured the water into my tall, insulated mug (because if I use a regular mug, I never quite get to drink it while it's hot) and we were admiring the way the steam curled out of the top, curling and twisting into thin air. In a life that consists of driving back and forth a lot between schools and activities with the kids, the steam, the thin air, can be an anchor for me, something more solid than the rest, as an image I can hold onto. The simplest things spark memory. And sparked memory is simply a cracking open of an experience in the moment, like Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, where each day of summer can be bottled and savored another day.

What I love about writing is discovering as I go that "saved" and "savored" sound the same, and in this case, mean the same thing. I love that -- the unbottling of a word.

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