Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The 100 Year Test

This past week we started reading the "Little House" books to Aidan. Janet and I had both grown up with the Laura Ingalls Wilder classic, and we were really excited to read them again with an appreciative audience. And Aidan is just eating it up -- he asks to read more two or three times a day, which is more than he's ever asked for a book before.

Now, for those not familiar with the books, it's important to understand that there is almost no plot. Every chapter is just a slice of life in Laura Ingalls life, starting in the 1870's. The first book is called "Little House in the Big Woods," but it could easily be called, "Little House, Like, In the Middle of Fucking Nowhere." Can you imagine being six years old and never having seen a town before? And yet the life of these people, through long winters and welcome springs, surrounded by deer and bears and panthers, is just fascinating.

Janet said to me today, "Are all slices of life created equal? Because I have a feeling that there is nothing in my daily routine that is a interesting as what these people are doing." So what makes for an interesting slice of experience? And how is it that our lives, with all the books and TV and movies and late-night philosophy, is not as compelling as venison, corn-cob dolls, and cold lonely nights?


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