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Laurel's Blog

This is my blog.

29.9.03

Some notes from Sandra Cisneros ~

"Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself, is singing the same song somewhere. I know. Is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life."

"I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much. I write it down and Mango says goodbye sometimes. She does not hold me with both arms. She sets me free.
One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away.
Friends and neighbors will say, What happened to that Esperanza? Where did she go with all those books and paper? Why did she march so far away?
They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out."
posted by Laurel  # 9:41:00 PM
I write better in the morning - more coherent in the morning, before my mind becomes saturated with the day’s events. Later- afternoon, evening, night - when I try to write I'm trying to capture every moment every experience - transferring thoughts onto paper and memories get jumbled and thoughts confused. So I guess I write to preserve. I write to explain. I can write with noise as long as it's people talking or cars moving or rain or some other kind of naturally occurring sound. Music, television, any kind of noise with words that have been planned and processed distract me - I compare what I'm writing to what I'm hearing and then I'm focused on the words as words, the structure as structured, the form, the sentences...that's when I get lost. I can't write in silence because then my thoughts are too loud. I write in notebooks and then type what I've written. I can't create on a computer, mostly because I love that great feeling of flipping through the crinkling pages of a used notebook.
posted by Laurel  # 9:29:00 PM

12.9.03

Useless hands... I could barely see two feet in front of my face - no nightlights out on the midnight lake, careful, with shoes in hand... A night darker than usual with a new startingly studded sky no packaged lights, no plugs or switches and my toes sank into the sand, mingling with fish, algea, and wishing stones. I stumbled from the flash of fireflies reflecting off the wet leaves blowing in the wind. The loon's cries drowned my thoughts and the steady rythmn of the rain matched the sound of footsteps on the gravel. It was a long walk home and the cool water promised my senses salvation. With the rain it was hard to tell if my foot was in the lake - if it was even wet at all. One more hill til home and I paused. The raindrops scattered constellations over the water's surface - the sky was dripping with stars. The ticking of my watch became just another pattern in night's symphony. The frigid air and frigid water held my feet in place. The hill was daunting, the gravel noisy, and it glittered when wet. My hair was dripping by the time I got home, and my sweatshirt stayed wet for days.
posted by Laurel  # 12:10:00 AM

8.9.03

Here's some quotes from the rest of The Things They Carried. I read the whole book in high school - It's absolutely amazing if anyone is inspired to read the whole thing after reading the one story we have for class.


"By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the shit field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain."

"Neither of us, I suppose, would've thought to use that word, love, but by the fact of not looking at each other, and not talking, we understood with a clarity beyond language that we were sharing something huge and permanent."

"The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness."

"In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen., What seems to happen becomes its own happening and has to be told that way,. The angles of vision are skewed. When a booby trap explodes, you close your eyes and duck and float outside yourself. When a guy dies, like Curt Lemon, you look away and then look back for a moment and then look away again. The pictures get jumbled; you tend to miss a lot. And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed."

"But the thing about remembering is that you don't forget. You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present. The memory-traffic feeds into a rotary up on your head, where it goes in circles for a while, then pretty soon imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets. As a writer, all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come at you. That's the real obsession. All those stories."


posted by Laurel  # 10:17:00 PM

3.9.03

"The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.
Impossible, of course.
I pay out my line, I pay out my line, this black thread I'm spinning across the page."
- The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood


I’m writing this and pretending you can’t read it. If I had my way it would be written in Sanskrit, or a code I invented and forgot five minutes later. I’m the daughter of a writer and for longer than I can remember I’ve been taught that writing is to be written for no one. I’ve read my father’s book, and I’ve tried to picture him sitting with a paper and a pen - and I can’t. To him writing is a world entirely separate from being a father, a husband, a brother, son, or teacher. And yet I know that at the same time, writing is an intrinsic part of who he is. I know because I was born with the same curse. I read once that to be a writer means to be nothing else - it means to walk the world skinless, whether you choose to or not. I have shelves and shelves of black scrawls on white paper, and to be honest, some of my notebooks for school contain more words in the margin written in frantic moments of inspiration than actual notes from class. For me trying to think of my first experience with language and writing is like trying to remember my first breath. I am always writing on paper or in my head, and although the thoughts don’t always make sense, the words are for me. Almost all of my memories are of conversations, letters written, words to a song, or moments that I’ve since attached a narrative to. I don’t know why certain words stick with me, or what deems them worthy of being scribbled in one of the dozens of notebooks that litter my floor, but I don’t think the reason for their existence is as important as the simple fact that they are there. As a writer, you don’t have a choice. I have never asked my father where his writing comes from, or why his poems are written the way they are, because I know that even his most thorough explanations couldn’t make me feel what he felt when certain words formed in his head. They are his, and what I write is mine.
posted by Laurel  # 12:48:00 AM

1.9.03

Hello.
posted by Laurel  # 9:53:00 PM

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