March 16, 2009

From messages to Postcards

"She wore jewelry by the breastful, by the armload: diamonds, rubies, emeralds. She wore big rings like engine bearings, and vast, slithering mink coats. She wore purple and green silk, purple and green linen, purple and green wool -- dresses, suits, robes -- and leather high-heeled pumps, which drew attention to her long, energetic legs and thin ankles. She looked imposing. She looked, we at our house tended to think -- for how females looked occupied most of females' attention -- terrible. We were all blondes; we disliked purple, we disliked green, and were against the rest of it, too."
--Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
This was left for me in a voicemail by a friend today; no introduction, just plunged right in and started reading. She's always doing wacky stuff like this that gently snaps (is that an oxymoron?) me from idle to creative/productive mode. Today, she made me remember that reading is not just a work activity; it's also a pleasure and a privilege.

And so I finally cracked open E. Annie Proulx's Postcards, which hits the floor running with an intriguing start:
"Even before he got up he knew he was on his way. Even in the midst of the involuntary orgasmic jerking he knew. Knew she was dead, knew he was on his way. Even standing there on shaking legs, trying to push the copper buttons through the stiff buttonholes he knew that everything he had done or thought in his life had to be started over again. Even if he got away."

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