5.03.2014

Unique in All the World and other stories

It's a quiet Saturday—thanks be to God—and I just opened up one of my novels. The story has been whispering in the back of my mind lately, obviously anxious to be told. I can envision it as it's meant to be; I can tell it's going to be beautiful, at least to me. Today, after months of inactivity, I brought up the document and started reading.

Within two paragraphs, I was nauseous.

Both of my stories are suspended in more or less the same place. I'm reaching out to these characters, these tales, through a sickening force field made up of exhaustion, a dangerous chemical combination of heavy-handed past critique and authorial masochism, and present internal strivings and life transitions.

I wonder if I could write those stories over from the beginning without looking at the old manuscripts, which are so full of painful memories.

It would be easier to drop both and start something new, but I love them.

Force fields be damned. Invisible barriers lose a lot of their stopping power when there's love on the other side.

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Mint juleps are back in season. YAY.

* * *

Music of the week—or of the month, more like: a piece that is especially dear to me, as it involves the work of both my husband and a friend.

Jade Coppieters caught us after Mass a few weeks back and asked Lou to lend his voice to this art song. I was beyond thrilled. Lou's voice has warmed in tone over the last couple of years, and its natural strength has mellowed without losing its power; I'd be completely envious if I didn't love him so much. And Jade, as I believe I've said before, is an incredibly gifted composer—and one of my favorite people. :) We made an evening out of the recording event, and I loved every minute of the hours with Jade and his Sam and my Lou, making music and friendships.

I got to play sound engineer, despite only half knowing what I'm doing, so I've listened to the piece enough to decide it just keeps getting better with familiarity. It's your turn now, so here's "Requiem." Words by Robert Louis Stevenson (he wrote this as his own epitaph, which did in fact make it onto his gravestone). Setting and piano performance by Jadrian Coppieters. Vocals by Louis St. Hilaire.



* * *

It was too windy for photos outside today, but I planted cosmos by the front porch and watered the baby tomatoes. I've taken to walking the yard every non-rainy afternoon, watching the garden come wholly and enthusiastically to life.

* * *

Maia zonked out, comfortably and ungracefully

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This commentary on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his novel The Little Prince, over at The New Yorker, sat open in my browser for several days before I got time to devote real attention to it. It proved worth the wait, even worth reading a couple of times. At first I was leery of what struck me as possibly over-exegeting a deliberately unclear fable, but a more thorough perusal cleared that up for me. The history is intriguing, and journalist Adam Gopnik captures some of the beautiful truth of the story.

He doesn't quote this part, which Christie reminded me of recently in conversation, but here's a bit of one scene I particularly loved.
"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?" 
"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean—'tame'?" 
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties." 
"To establish ties?" 
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world."
Much love, all of you. <3

2 comments:

  1. <3 that tale..

    And the music, and yes..your stories are worth breaking down barriers to complete! They're rich and beautiful and strong..but I know the feeling, sometimes starting over completely is so very tempting..but don't!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope you can work something out with the stories.

    Nice cat picture. :)

    ReplyDelete

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