257 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
Christopher L. Hayes
Progress: 17/304 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Progress: 96/454 pages
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
Progress: 22/750 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Not a review, but a call to arms

Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose--1983-2005 - Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is a genius.


I am not.


Margaret Atwood is a poet.


I am not.


Margaret Atwood is a writer.


I was, but not so much any more.  Or perhaps I was, and will be again?


As I frequently tell my dear friend KP who is not on BookLikes, I really do not believe in omens.  And yet, and yet, and yet, sometimes things happen that I think maybe could be omens, or would be omens, or should be omens, if I believed in such things.


This was the first, blogged by Derrolyn Anderson.  And I read it and for a moment I couldn't breathe, and I wanted to cry.




I do want to write, maybe more than anything.  It's all I ever really wanted to do, and for a while I did.  But now I use my boring, underpaid, but financially necessary day job as an excuse ("There is no excuse.") because I am afraid of failure, mundane failure.  I'm afraid that I cannot bring in sufficient cash to support myself . . . and I have no other support.


So that was the first omen, arriving just as I began the day's work at the boring, underpaid, but financially necessary day job that is an excuse.


And then later there were the quotes from Margaret Atwood in I'll think of a damn title later's reviews.  Not just because I'm familiar with Atwood's work and politics, but because one of the quotes referred to Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, to whose work I'd been introduced so many years ago in high school Spanish.  Years ago, when dreams were young and bright and just barely out of reach.


Links to themes and ties to the past and streamers of memories and dreams and aspirations, all of which seem somehow way out of reach at the moment.


But then in this review, the quoted poem "Another Visit to the Oracle" reminded me that I have an unread book of Atwood's essays.  And like I'll think of a damn title later, I felt the visceral reaction.


For this is what I do, Margaret Atwood writes, with confidence and authority.


And this is what I try to do, what I want to do, what I always dreamed of doing, I write with hesitation and a glance at the clock to make sure I still have time to finish my work.


To see what you do not. 

To breathe in the sounds, to smell the whispers and taste the screams of souls yearning for life.

To touch the fragrances that burst in my eyes like satin violins all crimson and chartreuse, sparkling with the songs of diamonds.

To feel what you do not or did not or have not, and to try with words, fragile words, feeble words, terrified and terrifying words to give you, freely and without obligation, the passion of my experiences and the experience of my passion.

To create a world that's never been created, that cannot be created, that exists because it cannot not be, because it exists in a dream and all dreams are real simply because they are dreams.


Somewhere along the way, I lost my dreams.  Not my passion, for I still have that in abundance.  But something happened to the dreams.  The dreams that cannot not be.  The dreams that must be.


The dreams that will be.  Because that is what I do.