“When I was very young, my mother took me for walks in Humboldt Park, along the edge of the Prairie River. I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates, of an old boathouse, a circular band shell, an arched stone bridge. The narrows of the river emptied into a wide lagoon and I saw upon its surface a singular miracle. A long curving neck rose from a dress of white plumage. Swan, my mother said… The word alone hardly attested to its magnificence nor conveyed the emotion it produced. The sight of it generated an urge I had no words for, a desire to speak of the swan, to say something of its whiteness, the explosive nature of its movement, and the slow beating of its wings… I struggled to find words to describe my own sense of it. Swan, I repeated, not entirely satisfied, and I felt a twinge, a curious yearning, imperceptible to passerby, my mother, the trees, or the clouds.” Patti Smith, excerpts from Just Kids, p. 3
“Isn’t this what we’re really looking for? A quiet corner of light, a warm chair to hold us, the chance to adventure deeply into someone else’s world and mind through the secrets they’ve committed to the page?...I pick up a book and something in me is hushed, as something else is brought to a new alertness.” Pico Iyer,The University of Portland Magazine, Summer 2014, p. 25
“Soon, you’ll grasp that sentences originate and take their endless variety from within you, from your reading, your tactile memory for rhythms, your sense of the playfulness at the heart of the language, your perception of the world.” Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing (p. 93).
Take heart. Take courage. Take time.
note: thanks to the slow mo guys for their inspiring slow-motion photography