Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dabbling Around, with and without Dabbling Ducks

The beautiful light on the water this very afternoon! Oh, water!

After I wrote about William Stafford, I got some of his son Kim's books, which I have been nibbling at or gobbling up. I pretty much ate up his autobiographical work concerning his brother in a couple of sittings. It was a very sad story, but well, and lovingly, told. His use of small remembered games and childhood places was particularly evocative. I got a much more rounded and authentic view of his father, too, than I had gleaned from the few days I spent in that workshop.
Here is a passage from the first section of the book Kim edited called Writer's and Their Notebooks. Since I got the book used, several passages were marked in pencil. This is one of them, which has had me thinking about water ever since.

"The hint in my notebook about "the whole rhythm of water"? What is that about? Carved on a stone by the river in my hometown is a line from my father's writing, "Water is always ready to learn." My father, the poet William Stafford, was magnetically drawn toward moving water. We were raised by rivers. The human equivalent to the rhythm of water, for me, is the daily rhythm of entering little discoveries into my notebook. The whole rhythm of the writing hand argues softly with the ways of men, and the ways of silence, violence and injustice. The river, like the writer, keeps seeking the meeting place with other waters, on and on.
I call such phrases in the writer's notebook miniature infinities, windows to stars, crevices glimpsed,  inhaled, barely heard, never forgotten. Writing--especially in a notebook small enough to welcome "small" ideas--is my way to identify them and give them a chance to grow."
Page 25.
There is plenty to think about in this little passage. If you don't already have one, get a little notebook and see what "the whole rhythm of the writing hand can do for your thinking"
I am finding that this daily blog-typing is nourishing me. And my notebooks are coming back into play. Sleep tight.
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