3.30.2009

puzzles

Reading before bed is something I'd like to do but in reality don't really, mostly because it turns on the (over)thinking part of me that makes getting to sleep impossible. But for the past few nights I've been absorbed by Lorrie Moore's "Anagrams", a book admirable for both the inventiveness of its prose (" 'Are we healthy yet?' yelled Pat over the music, her face like sepia sunsets, her face the split apple face of an owl") and the poignancy of its observations:

"It was important to dizzy yourself with stars, he thought. Too often you forgot they were even there. He could stare at once star, one brilliant and fidgety star, so long that his whole insides seemed suddenly to rush out into the sky to meet it. As an adult he rarely had those moments of connection, though what ones he'd had recently seemed mostly to be with the children he taught. More and more he was becoming convinced that it was only through children that one could connect with anything anymore , that in this life it was only through children that one came home, became a home, that one was no longer a visitor. Gerard thought about the little deaf boy in his class, a boy named Barney, how just today Barney had said loudly in his garbled and unconsonated speech, 'Please, Mr. Maines, when you stand behind, can you stomp your feet louder?' The only way Barney could hear the music and the beat was through the vibrations in the floor."

After reading, when I am lying in bed, unable to sleep, this is what I think about: whether certain actions (reading, writing, imagining) unite more than they separate; what a split apple face looks like; how it is possible for something (art) to be at once so connective and so isolating. 

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