"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Take A Word And Plunge It Deep

Literature, the most seductive, the most deceiving, the most dangerous of professions.
- John Morley

The space station flew over the thumb of Michigan
at 9:25pm on August 16, 2011.
I saw it.
And they saw me.
Out of the southwest it hurtled across the sky on a diagonal path to the north,
heading for Lake Huron, the Georgian Bay, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence
like a baseball thrown from the hand of God.
Firefly, firefly, fire fly for me
Bigger than a plane but smaller than Jupiter’s smallest moon,
brighter than a star but dimmer than the camera that flashed too soon,
(we try to capture moments like fireflies in a jar)
it was gone in minutes. If you paused to draw a drink of water,
you would have missed it.

Gone, but I remember. I write it down so I will always remember.
When I am old and feeble and resentful
of modern music, youthful exuberance, and everything new, I will remember.
When all I can talk about is what it was like when I was young,
I will remember the day I saw the space station
flung across the sky, like a child’s top with lights and chimes.
Like a present under the Christmas tree, mysterious and delightful.
I will remember if I write it down.

Write like you’re dying
and live like you’re new to the world with much to learn.
Curious as a child at a peephole, I wish to be.
Firefly fly for me. Sit at my side and flare for me.

If in the dark, I can better see, then I will sit up all night to decipher the day just passed.
Write about your failures “they” say, for from them you can learn much.
If you have writer’s block, write about your failures. You might find you can’t stop.
You’ll be like Jack Kerouac with a manual typewriter and a carriage return,
reams and reams of paper on a roll that spews out failures across the floor
and out the door like the meatball that rolled off the table when somebody sneezed.

The loneliness and ungodliness of the day past
with the anticipated tomorrow on the threshold, and, well, shit…
is unholy ungodly? Unholiness. That’s the word I wanted, Mr. Word.
What does Word know as he tries to tell me what is a word and what is not a word?
He replaces my words without my say so.
But I love Word. I love words words words wordswordswordswords.
See how words become swords? We wield our swords to make a point.
We spar and pivot through the day
and into the night as we search for the perfect word to end a story on.
A word to send on. To enter on. To return the carriage and close the cover on.

13 comments:

Pet said...

...live like you’re new to the world with much to learn... that I can try ... write about your failures “they” say, for from them you can learn much ... god, I seem to be unable to learn from them :-)

Travener said...

I like this.
I was never able to finish On the Road. To tell the truth, I only got about 20 pages in before giving up.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Pet,
I know what you mean. I keep making the same mistakes. Thanks for commenting!

Trav,
Thank you so much. I remember liking it, but it's been so long I don't remember much about it. I think it was one of those books that won't disappoint, if you don't give up on it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Anthony Duce said...

This is so inspiring. I have a running conversation with myself. sometimes writing as an old man, saying there is nothing new, and then as the ageless person I have always been, when I ignore what I see in the mirror. I need to draw out my sword more often and just write (or draw) it all down. Thank you

Yvonne Osborne said...

Tony,
Thank you so much. Your drawings and words always inspire me. I, too, have a running conversation with myself and hope I will always be an ageless person.

Mindy McGinnis said...

"Write like you're dying...."

That's fantastic advice.

catwoods said...

I love this: write like you're dying.

Thanks for another great post!

Ed Pilolla said...

you really are a wordsmith. quite clever. thanks for your thoughts and the image of jk hauling around his typewriter and papers.
the word to sword was cool.
love on the road. read it while in italy. one of the most powerful endings of a book for me.

Suzanne Casamento said...

You're an amazing writer. You floor me over and over.

I love the words becoming swords.

WOW.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mindy,
Thanks for stopping by my little ol' blog. I didn't coin that phrase but I can't remember who said it and I figure it bears repeating.

Cat,
Thank you for still coming here. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing new to say, yet I keep plugging along. Thanks!!!

Ed,
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. JK was amazing. I just finished Joyce Johnson's memoir "Minor Characters" and she was anything but in that man's life. Like you liked my wordplay. I had fun writing it.

Suzanne,
Aww...thanks. Thank you so much. You've painted a smile on my face as big as the sun. And this morning it is bright!!

Liza said...

"Write like you’re dying
and live like you’re new to the world with much to learn." Oh my Gosh. I want to write this on a sign and hang it on my desk and read it every morning and learn to live it. This post is stunning.

Lydia K said...

This was so amazing! Thank you for writing it and for sharing it with us. :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Liza,
Thank you so much!

Lydia,
Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it.