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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Writers Life

I listen to a feature on the radio called Writers Almanac, in this short piece Garrison Keillor reports literary history for the day. It's interesting. He always starts with a poem and then finishes with an excerpt from a letter from some notable writer. I am always struck by how ordinary the letters are, filled with observations of the natural world and thoughts of things that must be done. Nothing is earth shattering, the language is plain and to the point, and I find this comforting. I have been reluctant to name myself, to call what I do a thing. Artist, designer, writer. And yet the most interesting thing to me is to listen to those words, the internal voices of these great writers and artists and hear my own inner voice and think I am not so different from them.

The Speaker

by Louis Jenkins

The speaker points out that we don't really have
much of a grasp of things, not only the big things,
the important questions, but the small everyday
things. "How many steps up to your back yard? What
is the name of your district representative? What
did you have for breakfast? What is your wife's
shoe size? Can you tell me the color of your
sweetheart's eyes? Do you remember where you
parked the car?" The evidence is overwhelming.
Most of us never truly experience life. "We drift
through life in daydream, missing the true
richness and joy that life has to offer." When the
speaker has finished we gather around to sing
a few inspirational songs. You and I stand at the
back of the group and hum along since we have
forgotten most of the words.

"The Speaker" by Louis Jenkins, from Before You Know It: Prose Poems 1970-2005. © Will O' The Wisp Books. Reprinted with permission.

2 comments:

graphixgurl84 said...

I'm going to count the steps to my backyard right now.

lucy said...

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