Monday, April 20, 2009

outdoor reading

I left another writer a voice mail today, musing about the profound affect the written word can have upon a writer. Just as I assume painters are moved by other paintings, so am I moved when someone has found a way to speak in my language.

This morning I sat in the park with Rilke.

"This laboring through what is still undone,
as though, legs bound, we hobbled alone the way,
is like the awkward walking of the swan.

And dying--to let go, no longer feel
the solid ground we stand on every day--
is like his anxious letting himself fall

into the water, which receives him gently
and which, as though with reverence and joy,
draws back past him in streams on either side;
while, infinitely silent and aware,
in his full majesty and ever more
indifferent, he condescends to glide."

"The Swan" in The Selected Poetry of Rainier Maria Rilke

Oh the transition, the in between of my life. I am too scared to think that this happy time will not last, so I feel a bit unsettled...that this is a passing phase. Though I am enjoying it, the knowledge of its impermanence pervades my tranquility indeed. How I long to "fall into the water" of whatever will be.

I look up.
I watched a red-breasted robin.
I giggle at a man and his pomeranian.
I sip my coffee and move over to Plath.

She speaks of her ambition to write her novel, her unfocused intimidation at the prospect. She makes profession of her love for Virginia Woolfe and in eerie portent, describes her life connection to her. She wants a life of "books, babies, and beef stews." She exaults over Ted's book of poems being published, both proud and intimidated.

"Again, I feel the gulf between my desire & ambition and my naked abilities" (273).

I breath in her spirit...look to the call of the raven, release my shoe from my foot, and lie still in the sun.

I am reading much indeed! I just finished a re-read of 1984 and have begun Things Fall Apart which I was supposed to read in college but never did. I highly recommend both.

Please do let the change of seasons move you to reading. It really is the perfect outdoor pastime. When you think of reading on a sunny day, what kind of books come to mind? What do you like to read in the outdoors?

Sunnily Sunburnt,
mme bookling


Shell xx said...

I should first, before commenting on this beautiful post, introduce myself; I am Shell, thank you for this blog, I have been silently reading for a little while, and I am so moved by your words into doing more reading. I am a songwriter and equally, as you said that other people's art inspires you, I get the same wave of energy from other songwriters... Thank you again for an inspiring read.

denise said...

How about The Awakening by Kate Chopin, at the beach.

mme. bookling said...

Welcome! Glad to have your silence broken with a lovely comment!

Denise, love The Awakening...and at the beach? Perfect.