Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Good-by to all that--

Yesterday, the day of sad news and the giant Winnebago stuffed with yipping dogs (alas, parked directly in front of my house, which stands, like many old village houses, rather close to the street) is done. Heralded by two hungry cats kneading my prone and possibly edible body, one barking dog and many cheeping sparrows hopping about from the dripping giant rugosa to the hunch-backed lilac, the new day has begun. It's full of little creatures not bothering to think about matters of death and life, not worrying their brains about selves or fictional worlds (or, if one makes sub-worlds, whether the world-building is properly established) or even (save us!) genres or marketing and promotion.

No, they tear the world into little chittering bits; they bark it and miaou it with cheer. I like this washed, broken world. It has filled my head with rain and the confused movement of leaves in morning breeze. In a moment, I shall go out and navigate my way between raindrops--

21 comments:

  1. Your body is *definitely* edible to a cat.

    More startling though (but this time in a wonderful way), what a use of letters to make words to make thoughts! You're amazing with words. (I know 'amazing' is lame there, but I usually don't use it, so it means a lot more than it seems to.)

    Glad Cousin Eddie left. Hope you're well and happy. x

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  2. Robin,

    What a lovely comment here (and another elsewhere!) Thank you.

    I am fine--was feeling sad for an old friend whose wife has aggressive breast cancer, but the world goes on being hung so completely and carefully with tiny raindrops that I cannot help feeling that it is a beautiful place to be, even when one must leave.

    Cousin Eddie! Ack. There's a law against those things parking in the village, and for good reasons.

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  3. P. S. I loved the part about the post making you feel "more aware and alive." That's definitely something I value deeply.

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  4. It's really called a village? Maybe I'll come visit someday. Anywhere called a village... :)

    Aware and alive. Yep. That's what your words do. The astonishing thing is, when I stop and try to think of a new way to say something, it always comes out really simple and straightforward, and I often think of you and try to imagine how you go through your process, and then I realize, I should just be myself, because there's value to simple and straightforward, if done right, too. Still, I love the way you say things. Reminds me about how vast the world can be.

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  5. Oh! I'll be closer than I normally am in a couple weekends. Doing a writing retreat about 45 minutes from Scranton, PA.

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  6. Yes, it is officially "The Village of Cooperstown." Yes, do!

    I think it's all that most people do--write them the way they come out. It's just that mine come out my way, and yours come out your way.

    Scranton. Man, I despise the roads of Scranton! Get off, get tangled up on one-way roads... Oh, maybe that's Wilkes-Barre. Anyway, PA is always prickly with orange cones.

    Got a car while there? Or are you flying?

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  7. That's around 140 miles (about 2.5 hours from here.)

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  8. I'm flying in to AVP and getting shuttled to Honesdale (Highlights Foundation). So thankfully, I won't have to drive at all.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your friend's breast cancer. I think that you're right though that one can appreciate life even more for having to leave it.

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  10. Dale, :)

    Zephyr ;)

    You minimalists!

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  11. Robbi,

    I am feeling sad for the two of them, and yet both have lived an alternative life that gave to others and lived close to the land--indeed, to the wilderness. They have not been addicted to ephemeral things, nor wasted their time, as I have often done.

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  12. Oops, Robin, I missed your reply but see it now... Oh, I was hoping you had some extra hours and a car--I could have met you in Binghamton during school hours.

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  13. sorry about your friend's cancer.

    I love the second paragraph, the idea of the animals barking and miaouing the world with cheer...

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  14. Oh, I'm a bit sorry for having mentioned it--seems like somebody else's privacy--but thank you.

    I'm glad you liked it, Juliet. And now, back to the delights of weekend laundry.

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  15. Yes, same Highlights. They do writing retreats that are supposedly very good but also very expensive, or for me at least. But they've got a thing going in the downtime between conferences called an Unevent, where you can just come write in a nice setting with food provided and meet other writers. I need a writing boost, so figured, why not. Shame it's not closer to you though.

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  16. Interesting: amazing how many opportunities for writers there are these days. I don't remember anything like this at all when I was your age...

    It is. Sounds like you are going for another purpose, though!

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  17. The world is certainly comprised of little bits and pieces of happenings which often appear disparate and ill-fitting.
    Days like that leave me in confusion and disarray.

    It is the day after such a day that one can play hopscotch with the raindrops!

    One thing for sure though: Yipping dogs demand no privacy!

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  18. We're having an absolute downpour, so no hopscotch here! Puzzling together those fragments though...

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.