Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not all who wander are dead

Through some conspiracy of celestial scope every time I sit at this desk to write it is Sunday morning. A time tunnel of Sunday mornings. Last night I spent it with Crevecoeur and, when my patience subsided, Nabokov. The former idyllic, the latter caustic. I weed through Nabokov’s tortuous prose like a turtle in brushwood, but still obdurate despite obstacles of form. You use too many SAT words, he says, and I say, man, you should read Nabokov, a little irritated but still patient with him because he does not understand that I do not do it on purpose.

As I paraglide through the pages I realize that I hardly need a dictionary anymore, here and there for things that refer to inanimate objects, like “crucible,” but this is only to be expected since there are not many crucibles in my life. How much of all this richness of language collapses into oblivion for lack of use, it saddens me. Words must be remembered on stray pieces of paper, on post-its, on documents on the desktop. I must retain them, for words are meaningful and beautiful, even SAT words, despite what anybody says.

Atypically early I brought the pages of the book together and Ada said goodnight, settled under her own weight on the nightstand. I sent my nightly epitaph and before I fell asleep I thought about the movie I saw today. Into the Wild. It finally dawned on me why Bill asked me four times “Do you really want to watch this?” and then implied that I would have to watch it alone. And I did. The best way to watch movies, if you ask me.

But it left me hollow. Words don’t come anymore, feelings either. The garments of emotionality stand at the gates, guarded, for fear of being brutalized again. Trapped, I feel a need to read Thoreau again, which I will today probably, since all I can do is read. Read and listen to this. As I listen I think about the guitar chords to play it and somewhere beyond mechanical perception there are thoughts about all the blog entries I will write about the movie. But still, words don’t come. Feelings either. I force myself to write four paragraphs just to prove myself I still know how.

London, Thoreau, Kerouac, Steinbeck, come back.
Please, come back.

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