Friday, April 06, 2007


I have been thinking a bit lately about writing, and wonder, since my only real genre is the essay, what I could write were I to write something longer, i.e. book-length. I have given up entirely on writing the book report that would get me my Ph.D. My advisor, when I asked him if I should complete my dissertation, said that since I was not going to be a professor, what was the point? I should just write a book.

"Just write a book." As though that were easy. I asked my friend Ray, who HAS written a book, if he thought I should write a memoir-type thing, and he replied, "I think you should start immediately upon waking up tomorrow."

Now, I have been looking at the idea of autoethnography, and wondering if the more rigorous (academic) tone of that genre would suit me even better. Then again, I am too too wedded to my own emotional process to view it with anything approaching "objectivity."

With all of this in mind, here is something I wrote, sometime in the past, that doesn't suck too much:

There was the day, when I was about 10 years old, where tired of drawing square-jawed and triangle-nosed mermaids, I went home to Mom and asked her to teach me how to draw a profile. She taught me to draw a left-facing one, and to this day I am stuck with people looking always to the west with that indomitable pioneer spirit. Mom showed me, and I practiced, bringing each piece back for criticism. Drawing the eye as a triangle rather than an almond was a revelation to me. Never more would the mermaids suffer from a Cubist duality of perspective in their penciled features. Never more would Freda, the Norse goddess who gave us Friday, have to place all of her vanity in her miraculously upswept hairdo, hoping that her coiffure would draw attention from the relentless geometry of her features. Now, although perhaps a bit cute or trite, at least the features of the goddess were regular and somewhat life-like.

With Santa Cruz in the thrall of what serves for spring here, I have been swept, at least two months too early, into the vertiginous nostalgia brought back in that season. Brought back in every season, really, but of changing character, and it is the change I notice. Here, where many things bloom or are green year round, I am not sure how just the cherry trees manage to have such sway over me. Maybe it is more the gradually increasing light, and the way it falls on the hills in the evening. Something is moving me into a sort of agitation, which I am incapable, and not really willing, to suppress.

1 comment:

Project Pink Suitcase said...

Write! Write! Write!
For me, it is Paint! Paint! Paint!
I have moments where I think, should I be painting? The answer is always "Yes!".
I agree with your friend...begin immediately.
It sounds dramatic, because it is and should be.