Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clear as Pictures in Our Heads

E.B. White once wrote, “Sometimes we regret our failure to write about things that really interest us. The reason we fail is probably that to write about them would prove embarrassing.” He then proceeded to list a few of these things. And, of course, they weren’t really embarrassing at all. In fact, these things that had interested him that particular week were pretty brilliant and rather poetic observations, such as: “the head and shoulders of a woman in a lighted window, combing her hair with infinite care, making it smooth and neat so that it would attract someone who would want to muss it up,” and so on.

If I could write about the things that really interested me in the past week, the things that “stand out clear as pictures in our head,” as my man E.B. put it, I’d probably write about things such as: the way my cat Layla curls up and sleeps on my New Yorkers and journal, instead of any other part of the bed; my aunt Deborah’s homemade “English cake”; Ray LaMontagne’s voice; how sometimes, when I drive home from a particularly tedious night at work, I listen to the “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” soundtrack and pretend I’m riding a bike in the Spanish countryside instead of driving across central Indiana; and finally, but most importantly, I’d write about how utterly satisfying it can sometimes be to write one really long, winding sentence full of semicolons and know that absolutely no one can tell me to edit it.

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