Friday, November 23, 2012

Chasing Comets

As a reader, I am finding my radar is sensitized to lines about writing--when I see a good one, I dwell on it. In Libba Bray's The Diviners I just came across this line:
In its way, writing was like healing: a cure for the loneliness he felt. Sometimes the cure took; other times, it didn't. But he kept trying. He bent his head over his notebook, writing by lantern light, chasing after words like trying to grab the tails of comets."
 I like the sense that writing is associated with something practically impossible, yet worth the effort--only one with imagination could grab the tail of a comet. Only a dreamer could imagine such a feat...yet at the same time the image suggests that the dreamer will only ever chase the comet, and never quite be able to grab it.

It makes me think of so many things in our lives that we give up on. Yet writing, the struggle of scratching down lines and symbols in order to express our difficult thoughts, feelings, is wild.

I have these thoughts in my head, or these feelings in my heart, and I can transfer them to the reader with the right combinations of lines, marks, and symbols. I'm reminded just how incredible and magical the process of writing can be..."like trying to grab the tails of comets."

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