Sunday, December 9, 2007

notes to myself

This is a link to an indescribably beautiful short film by one of my favorite philosophers. I am as yet inept regarding how best to post videos--but however you get there, it is worth the trip...

I awoke around 1 a.m., thinking about Bedichek, and Dobie, and
McMurtry and this long lineage of Texas writers, and I should include
Dorothy Scarborough, of The Wind and Katherine Ann Porter, who are the only truly noteworthy females of
Texas literature, but I always longed, don't know why, to belong to the
"boys club."

This might have something to do with my upbringing, and the
pre-kindergarten days I spent with my dad travelling from town to
unnamed town in the panhandle, stopping off at grain elevators to shoot the breeze with other farmers analyzing the market and bad-mouthing the republicans (those were the days--now the farmers in that area subscribe to a different set of politics driven by a man who wouldn't know which end of a cow to milk, but he employs a familiar vocabulary and perhaps that is where we all draw the line).

Bedichek will be much on my mind over the holidays as I embark upon a rereading of his Adventures with a Texas Naturalist

the not lost notes...

I guess I need to figure out the plot of this story. Grace is born, is raised by her father, rather uneventfully in this small Texas town, which at this point hardly figures at all into the story—should it be a larger part of the story? More characters? Anyway, she is haunted by her mother’s suicide, an incident which her father only ever describes to her in mythological terms. When she is forced to confront her abandonment after her father’s death, she decides to open the lid of the past and find out who her mother was and what was the terrible secret that she carried inside her—what eventually drove her to suicide.

She moves in to the old hotel, her mother’s childhood home, and the past comes alive. Layer after layer of history unfolds as she discovers the many secrets held in the walls of the old building. She is about to lose touch with everything, to be consumed by the past entirely, when she meets Holcomb Howell, a young cropduster. What ensues is Grace’s first love, a passionate encounter with the living such as she has never known, by her mother’s secret has now become her own, and the desperate battle is now being waged within her.

Why am I doing this? I know that right now I couldn't care less about what happens in this stupid story. So let me tell you this. How when Grace returned home she sat for a long time in the living room of the German farmhouse, feeling the emptiness of the rooms. There was a stillness in the air that oppressed her. What she felt most keenly however was the feeling that though she had lived in this house her entire life, she had never felt that she quite belonged. There was a distance between her and every object that occupied the house, as if some unseen presence had hovered over her warning, “Don’t meddle, don’t touch,” until her curiosity had finally subsided.

This house was a body vacant of spirit, and she herself felt this vacancy of spirit well. She rose from the crackling, decrepit sofa and smoothed her skirt as if she was off to the kitchen to make tea or wash vegetables. She went to her closet and took out an old suitcase of a floral print in needlepoint. She packed the few dresses and undergarments she owned. Then she searched the kitchen drawer...for a key. They had never as far as she knew, locked any of the doors. But the kitchen door through which the entered and exited exclusively did have a latch and keyhole. At some length of rifling through the drawers filled with pipe cleaners and small parts of dismantled mechanisms of various kinds, she discovered a small and heavy key on a frayed and faded green ribbon.