Tuesday, May 24, 2011

imperfect birds

I'm a little ways through Anne Lamott's last book about Elizabeth and Rosie, slightly shocked and extremely admiring as always by her unblinking honesty. Rosie and Crooked Little Heart are two on my much loved books list, although I don't read them again and again. It's a little bit painful.

I often wonder if I will ever write in such honesty that I can convey truth and pain and beauty in human experience without the obstruction of my own sense of mental propriety. I am forever re-phrasing, adding details, rounding hard edges and softening things so they seem more attractive in my ear. I would like to construct a sentence that contains the thoughtful accuracy of being " . . . grateful for the poignancy of daybreak."

I never specifically thought of daybreak as poignant before I read that in Imperfect Birds, but it is very much so. Daybreak means you have lived to see another day, passed through another night. It is a marker. How wonderfully phrased! Or to be able to express such a character as Rae, utterly wonderful but still so human, who says things like, "God loves you crazily, like I love you . . . like a slightly overweight auntie, who sees only your marvelousness and need." Goodness that's a sentiment to delight in reading and re-reading. Didn't you smile at the thought?

I'm going to the UCSC arboretum today to play amongst the trees after my mother gets off from work. How lucky I am to have seen this day break!

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