How many times a day do I say or think “I don’t know”? Very often. Too often? If I know so little how do I expect to write a novel? Well, since when has ignorance acted as a reason or stopped me from having an opinion?
At seventy I still feel the threads that bind me to earth. As a young woman of twenty what hopes I had of riding the wind in my earnestness, eagerness to be part of the bigger world.
Shall I tell the truth? Is truth absolute? I think not. Truth is by degree. But is the degree one of temperature or of compass points. I am looking two degrees left of true north. Is that magnetic north? I know longer remember.
The knowledge that the world has changed its magnetic poles from north to south and back and that they slip sideways as well and more than once through earth’s history pleases my imagination greatly.
But what is truth, is truth beauty?
As a woman of thirty five I felt the truth of this prose poem written one biting bitter winter afternoon.
a few pages from my book The Why and the Beginning, dedicated to my Grandmother, Lila.
The sun’s rays illuminated the dust motes dancing on the rough wooden boards in my studio.
So even if I don’t hit the finish line one thing is sure, by the end of the month my head will be blessedly empty of the daily noise of living. All of it re-translated into fiction and set down on these pages.
When I turned fifty the world turned too. A body betrayed by hormones, a never ending debilitation of mood, senses, bodily changes. Only time heals so they say.
Now at eighty I eat little, vegetable barley soup with bread and butter. How I do appreciate a slice of bread and butter with almost everything; soup, a steak, apple sauce, a bowl of fresh berries, fried lake perch. When growing up bread and butter (well margarine actually) filled out every meal.
Re-reading Dear Theo – In Vincent Van Gogh’s letters to his brother he talks about running out of money. In his excitement he over spent on having his work framed. But then his life was never as important to him as his painting.
So for days and days he lived on coffee and crusts of bread. I expect also wine and tobacco. Surely this would alter the chemistry in the brain? If, as they tell us every seven years all the cells in our bodies have died and been replaced why do we remain so much the same?