After a day of thunder and torrent, the air is calm. Fingers of sunshine creep through the water-weighted fir branches. A cloud of green droplets blurs the asparagus bed. Roof drip splatters a hummingbird as she inspects the feeder.
I am reading A. S. Byatt's Elementals, a fairy-tale book, and remembering the sensation of writing my own fairy tales for Same Old Story, and feeling elegiac and a little melancholy. I am not writing much of anything at the moment, except for these blog posts. Mostly I have been patient about that gap. I have written so much over the past few years, and I am tired; I know I am tired. As always, I am still reading without cease. Suddenly, though, reading a fairy tale has reminded me of writing a fairy tale . . . picking my way through solidity and invention, following the expected track into unexpected glens. . . . Spinning a tale is real work; it is metaphor; it is memory and wish. Nouns summon their adjectives. Verbs slide, burrow, prevaricate; they march sturdily into the future. Summer is waning and I, without warning, feel the prickle of need. I imagine writing a fairy tale.
Yesterday, I received a 5-page letter in the mail, much of which the writer has also posted online. His response to Same Old Story is amazingly complex . . . though I am bewildered by the Auden referent. I never thought of Auden at all.