Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where the Meanings Begin

The sky goes to slate blue in the evening.  I am always a fan of walking. I like thinking and walking.  The reason I like my job is because it requires a 20 minute walk to the train every morning (while the rabbits are finishing snacks on lawns and sometimes a Cooper's hawk flies up Winnemac Avenue) and I walk home as the day is closing, and all the people having just arrived home are walking their eager dogs. I get a lot of ideas for poems while walking. Last night, on the way home from the train, after a 12 hour day, I suddenly had a new idea of how I could make the young adult novel I've been daydreaming about and thinking of turn into something new and different.  Today I was finishing an advance reading copy of Paul Auster's forthcoming Winter Journal, and I was so happy (as I read this section in my local Italian restaurant) that I took a sip of wine and stopped and the whole world stopped and looked out the window at the sky:

"In order to do what you do, you need to walk. Walking is what brings the words to you, what allows you to hear the rhythms of the words as you write them in your head. One foot forward, and then the other foot forward, the double drumbeat of your heart. Two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, two feet. This, and then that. That, and then this. Writing begins in the body, it is the music of the body, and even if the words have meaning, can sometimes have meaning, the music of the words is where the meanings begin. You sit at your desk in order to write down the words, but in your head you are still walking, always walking, and what you hear is the rhythm of your heart, the beating of your heart. Mandelstam: 'I wonder how many pairs of sandals Dante wore out while working on the Commedia.' Writing as a lesser form of dance."

Walk on, Paul Auster, up and down the hectic and the peaceful and the shaded streets of Brooklyn.

On a recent morning walk to the train: an encounter with plum blossoms.


  1. I heard about this thing in psychology where alternating right/left body movements corresponds to the right/left hemispheres of the brain and triggers chemicals in your brain and causes positive thinking, memory recollection and inspiration. : )

  2. you are clearly a flaneur, r mc.