A sponge or a fist

Sometimes I used to think Why did people ever start new blogs? Why not just keep using the same one. And then at some point I was very embarrassed about everything written here, and thought that’s maybe why. Or that I am different than I used to be and don’t need to be reminded. But I have written at least one post here every year since this place was created (which is not that many years and in 2010 I wrote one thing); it would be sad if I didn’t write something this year I guess.

This has been a year of wanting to write again. I kept a journal sometimes. I wrote some short things elsewhere. I tried this book, but I tried it when I was depressed and I just stayed depressed and then I stopped and then I stopped being depressed. But I was not giving it my everything.

Have you read Mr. Bridge?

1. Love

Often he thought: My life did not begin until I knew her.

She would like to hear this, he was sure, but he did not know how to tell her. In the extremity of passion he cried out in a frantic voice: “I love you!” yet even these words were unsatisfactory. He wished for something else to say. He needed to let her know how deeply he felt her presence while they were lying together during the night, as well as each morning when they awoke and in the evening when he came home. However, he could think of nothing appropriate.

So the years passed, they had three children and accustomed themselves to a life together, and eventually Mr. Bridge decided that his wife should expect nothing more of him. After all, he was an attorney rather than a poet; he could never pretend to be what he was not.

That is the whole first chapter. It is a great first chapter; I love it very much. Somewhere here is the story of Mrs. Bridge, what a sad sad book and was so good for me to read young (here). I don’t have much more to say about Mr. Bridge; it’s just the latest thing I read and loved. It isn’t the best thing I’ve read this year. The best, actually, I know, which is sometimes rare. But the best thing I read was There but for the by Ali Smith. In 2009 I wrote a post called There but for the. Here is a screen shot if you don’t believe me

Screen shot 2012-10-04 at 5.01.40 PM

I think I published it and then moved it back to drafts at some point because I was embarrassed of it. There but for the is very, very good. I don’t know why it was the best, it just was, I felt that I was better after reading it.

The best sentence I read though, or the one I remember the most:

When he saw me fall behind, my grandfather would stop, wipe his brow, and say: “What’s this, what’s this? I’m just an old
Obreht, Tea (2011-03-08). The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel (Kindle Locations 493-494). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

When he saw me fall behind, my grandfather would stop, wipe his brow, and say: “What’s this, what’s this? I’m just an old man—come on, is your heart a sponge or a fist?

It’s from The Tiger’s Wife, which I also liked on the whole, but that sentence is what has been scratched into everything. Which is it? Is my heart a sponge or a fist?

I don’t know, truly. This is not a promise. But here, right now: I want to try to be lighter, to not make it so heavy, to be more sponge-like and less like a fist.