Do you ever look at your children, at something they’re doing, or have done, or are clearly planning on doing, they just may not know it yet, and think, now just where exactly did you come from? Let me see those hospital papers. People tell me this happens to them all the time, but not so much to me. I know my kids are mine, and not only because they look just like me.
When Garrett was three (by far the greatest age ever, because language acquisition and mistakes delight me) and would struggle with something that was bothering his wee little brain, he would stop in the middle of a room, bend at the waist, put his fingertips to his temples and seethe “think, think, think!” That’s Garrett, basically.
Luke, and let it be known that he has outgrown this, was more of a hands down his pants kind of kid. His three year old self used to do this a great deal, he was just so jubilant about the lack of diaper in there, he couldn’t help himself. He would lounge on the couch, one thumb in his mouth, the other hand down his pants, and exclaim – the antithesis of his brother – “happy, happy, happy!” Aaaaaannd, yup, that’s basically Luke.
I don’t wonder where any of this came from – I am an aces combination of these two – this thinker and this glutton for happy.
Where am I going with this you ask? Here. I am going here. To my semester reading list! LOOK AT IT. It’s gorgeous.
I’m sharing it in case any of you lovelies wonders just what it is I’m doing in my course work. It’s quite a nice set up if you ask me (and some of you did). I read books by the masters and then I write about their masterful mastery, and then I try to twist and wring out all the best things from their work, and make a new soapy dishwater of my own.
I have about five months to devour these exquisite works of art and let the fine methods of structure and diction and sequence and story arc seep into my brain enough that I can somehow steal all of the best bits (without actually stealing them, obviously.) So maybe more like emulate them without actually copying them, or let them imprint somewhere in the deep recesses where they can, later, come crashing back through like the koolaid guy through the wall…all … here. read me! I’m perfection on the page! Oh, yeah!
Oh, but first, the reading. Joan Didion, for example. Joan Didion is my current obsession. I read her stuff, and by “stuff” I mean her breathtaking variant combinations of the exact 26-letter alphabet I’ve known since Mrs. Callahan first taught it to me – mere words on paper, yes, but put together, nay, orchestrated, in such a way, such a deceptively simple (read: astoundingly complicated) way. She makes me put my fingertips to my temple, that one. Think, think, think is my inner monologue when I study her work.
As an aside: if you’re looking for something to read I recommend The White Album, which was on last semester’s reading list, but which now lives beside my bed, my little bedside pal . You don’t have to exert too much brainpower to read or enjoy the book, only to figure out how the hell she does it. How the hell she achieves the spellboundation, that is. P.S. If you figure it out, do write and let me know. I could use your thoughts for my annotations.
Anyway. All the while I’m reading her work, and also other work, and even more books than that, I’m thinking, I’m just so happy, happy, happy! It’s the thinking that makes me so happy, see?
In a way I’m this little guy…and this little guy…
and my heart is full. Of happy thoughts.