Thursday, October 30, 2008

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Ernest Hemingway

Late afternoon is lovely at home. The walls of the yellow room catch what little is left of the autumn light and play it across the floor in soft golden tones. I love to watch the light that moves as the leaves dance and shiver against the glass; the naked trees looks so exposed against the grey sky and remind me to be grateful that I am warm. The colours alone in our home could warm me, I love the vibrant yellow, deep blue, and new living green in the kitchen! In my autumn afternoons I wander room to room and am wrapped in beauty.

Our Lady glows above my desk – gold, red, and green against the deep blue; we have given Her red berries and the branch and potted marigolds for the fall and She, our Lady of the Watchful Eyes looks out on us with love and gives us Her prayers in return.

I love writing in the afternoon, when the house is clean and warmed by the hidden sun. I love listening to Rachmaninoff’s Vespers chanted throughout the apartment from the record player as I write, though it makes me restless so that I have to leave off my writing often and pace through the rooms, loving the beauty and the sounds and the musky smell of incense burning. Today I interrupted my writing to read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. It makes me hungry for good bread and shellfish, wine and rum, and strong coffee. I first discovered the book in Pennsylvania, living with my actress-friend in our up-stairs apartment, as I wrote and developed my passion for pottery and she wrote and acted; and we both fell in love with the artistic life. When I read Hemingway, he struck a chord that had recently been tuned by our Polish Pope’s letter to artists. It was then I began to dwell on Ritual: the rhythmic living of the True and Beautiful in daily life.

It surprises me when I meet people, to discover that they don't like Hemingway: the man who writes the soul so well, who writes ritual so well, and beauty and good food. He is one writer who realizes so well the importance of detail in revealing the state of the soul. I remember first reading Hills like White Elephants and feeling the tension between the couple as they both flitted around the discussion of aborting their child. The pain in that story was palpable in the almost mundane descriptions of the little table, the drinks, clothing, sky, scenery, and the hills far off that look like white elephants.

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