Friday, August 14, 2015

Rough drafts

Last night, I read the previous day's blog post to the historian, who is kind enough to ask me/indulge me. When I finished, I said, I think with some more work that could be an essay. 

He said, I was going to say.

As I've written these posts about our current visit to Scotland, I'm aware, sometimes acutely, of the imperatives of writing--to record; to make something with form out of the material of the day. To be true to the experience. To capture what is fleeting. Because these are daily posts, I almost always have a note or two, kept only for myself, about what I would add or do differently if I were to revise, or if I were writing the piece for a literary magazine. If it were to be in a book. If I were writing it solely for myself. There are things I leave out. Things I would give a different emphasis to, proportion differently. Sometimes I throw in details, attaching them in ways that I know I haven't yet full worked out, or haven't earned. When--if--I revise the piece I read last night to the historian, I know there are things I will add, feelings and small elements of the day, that will make it truer, in my estimation, that will make the form I give the experience feel, to me, more just.

I'm thinking about this because yesterday, we spent the afternoon at a beach in a small fishing village, Sandend, on the North Sea, and swam there in that cold northern water. And last night, as I considered opening my mobile blogging app, I thought, no. Not yet.

I just now wrote a sentence with loads of adjectives, trying to explain the not yet. Even that sentence: no.

As I woke up this morning, gray light in the window, I thought, I can write about why I don't want to write about it, not yet, and call it Rough drafts. I brought my tablet down to the kitchen. There are little brown birds in the grass, eating the seed Miriam scattered in the grass a day or two ago. It's raining. Yesterday, we had the beauty of a fine Scottish day, which is to say: sun, all afternoon long.

So what I'm doing is this: for all the reasons I can't yet put into words, I'm making a note of the day, and of this moment, the morning after, and saying, sometime, and probably soon, this experience will find its way into words, and I will be glad I waited. But for now, I'm just going to say I was happy, ecstatic, even. Doing this, all of us together--it was beyond.

Pictures, which I know I have posted elsewhere, but here they are again (right now, they are my memory-tokens):








1 comment:

Nik said...

I love to think about the differences between blogs and essays. You make great blog posts out of essays. I can imagine these blog posts as essays. You're right. It's about proportion. And maybe repetition (or, at least, cycling back).

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