Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We were talking the other day, my naturopath and I. We were talking about how creative people might walk a little closer to the edge. How crazytown might be an actual stop on the road.

How this is okay.

My emotions are very close to the surface. I've spent my entire life trying to find more balance between rational thought and emotional reaction, but even typing those words made me aware of the fact that although I understand the theory of rational thought, I don't understand it. My perception of rational thought is coloured by my emotional take on things.

I don't fear a mental breakdown or anything like that. More like, I know that the yawning abyss of all feeling and no thinking is an abyss that at times I throw myself into; desperately clawing my way out. Maybe one day I won't come out, or it takes a while. Who knows.

I read another great book on the weekend, Anne Tyler's Breathing Lessons. Both books were recommended by Nick Hornby (I wrote him a slobbering fan letter a while back and he wrote back, on gorgeous creamy notepaper, recommending both Anne Tyler and Elizabeth McCracken) and it was strange; both resonated completely although on different levels.

The Anne Tyler was a window to my world. Wife is emotion driven and scattered; lightly on different thoughts and directions like a butterfly. Husband, however, is a straight line of steely determination. My world exactly.

Good read for a different perspective. I read fast through this one, something I do sometimes if I'm uncomfortable with the writing. At first I thought it was that the book was no good. More thought allowed that while I didn't love it, it was terrificly good. Good like good writing, good plotting, good all that. And what I had to figure out is that books don't have to make me happy. They don't have to wind it all up and fix all the problems. God even as I write this I realize that I'm having a terrible time explaining what I mean.

Let me give it one last go. The book is excellent. I didn't love the people, but I couldn't put it down. See what you think.


Lady Glamis said...

Interesting take on that! It's nice to know that the characters don't all have to be lovable teddy bears. I know I'm always struggling with my first book and the fact that nobody really likes the main characters that much. They like the rogue hero instead. :)

Thanks for a good post! I fall into that yawning abyss all the time. It's hard to get out sometimes. That's why I have an emotionally stable husband. I'd be lost without him.

lotusgirl said...

I think many of us walk a fine line between sanity and a great abyss. As writers though I think that we have to be able to glance off the edge and look down into the abyss to be able to write about it. We just have to be careful not to fall in.