What a tender, heart-sore week. I've spent the last few days making gifts and baking and trying to keep my heart afloat on the bright-lit faces of my children. I've also had some moments to read but have found that most of the fiction I've picked up has drowned out, with loud cacophony, the tender, quiet, luminous, sometimes tragic light of the real world we live in. And so I have found comfort in:
The most recent issue of The Progressive, in which writers (Terry Tempest Williams, Rebecca Solnit, Bill McKibbin, to name a few), answer the question of what it means to live well. Which, as you know, is a question I care about.
Also, the first two chapters of The Woman in the Woods, by Ann Joslin Williams. This collection of linked stories is painfully beautiful. And yes, a child dies, which is perhaps why I turned to it now.
And, at last, Mary Ruefle's collection of essays, Madness, Rack, and Honey, from which I offer you a few lines, which are about poetry, but also more:
I do not think I really have anything to say about poetry other than remarking that it is a wandering little drift of unidentified sound, and trying to say more reminds me of following the sound of a thrush into the woods on a summer's eve--if you persist in following the thrush it will only recede deeper and deeper into the woods; you will never actually see the thrush (the hermit thrush is especially shy), but I suppose listening is a kind of knowledge, or as close as one can come. "Fret not after knowledge, I have none," is what the thrush says. Perhaps we can use our knowledge to preserve a bit of space where his lack of knowledge can survive.
May your hearts also find the light.