Norah looked at her son's tiny face, surprised, as always, by his name. he had not grown into it yet, he still wore it like a wrist band, something that might easily slip off and disappear. She had read about people - where? she could not remember this either - who refused to name their children for several weeks, feeling them to be not yet of the earth, suspended still between two worlds.
On an impulse he went into the room and stood before the window, pushing aside the sheer curtain to watch the snow, now nearly eight inches high on the lampposts and the fences and the roofs. It was the sort of storm that rarely happened in Lexington, and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers. Tomorrow would be quiet, the world subdued and fragile, until the neighborhood children came out to break the stillness with their tracks and shouts and joy. He remembered such days from his own childhood in the mountains, rare moments of escape when he went into the woods, his breathing amplified and his voice somehow muffled by the heavy snow that bent branches low, drifted over paths. The world, for a few short hours, transformed.
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Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too. It was humbling to consider all these authors, struggling with this word or that phrase, recording their thoughts for people they'd never meet. In that same way, the detritus of the boxes was humbling - receipts, jotted notes, photos with no inscriptions, all of it once held together by the fabric of lives now finished, gone.
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Some dreams matter, illuminate a crucial choice or reveal some intuition that's trying to push its way to the surface. Other, though, are detritus, the residue of the day reassembling itself in some disjointed and chaotic way... Frantic dreams, they left me tired, and I woke grouchy to another rainy day, the sky so densely gray and the rain so thick that I couldn't that I couldn't see the opposite shore [p, 166]
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He could hardly imagine anymore what his life would be without the weight of his hidden knowledge. He'd come to think of it as a kind of penance. It was self-destructive, he could see that, but that was the way things were. People smoked, they jumped out of airplanes, they drank too much and got into their cars and drove without seat belts.
Though Lexington is not a small town, it sometimes feels like one, with circles of acquaintance overlapping once, then again; the person you meet by chance at the library or the pool may turn out to be the best friend of your down-the-street neighbor. Maybe thats why people are so friendly here, so willing to be unhurried.
He had handed his daughter to Caroline Gill and that act had led him here, years later, to this girl in motion of her own, this girl who had decided yes, a brief moment of release in the back of a car, in the room of a silent house, this girl who had stood up later, adjusting her clothes, with now knowledge of how that moment was already shaping her life.
Her voice, high and clear, moved through the leaves, through the sunlight. It splashed onto the gravel, the grass. He imagined the notes falling into the air like stones into water, rippling the invisible surface of the world. Waves of sound, waves of light: his father had tried to pin everything down, but the world was fluid and could not be contained.
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He fished in his pocket for his keys and instead pulled out the last geode, gray and smooth, earth-shaped. He held it, warming in his palm, thinking of all mysteries the world contained: layers of stone, concealed beneath the flesh of earth and grass; these dull rocks, with their glimmering hidden hearts.
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Norah looked at her son's tiny face, surprised, as always, by his name. he had not grown into it yet, he still wore it like a wrist band, something that might easily slip off and disappear. She had read about people "" where? she could not remember this either "" who refused to name their children for several weeks, feeling them to be not yet of the earth, suspended still between two worlds.
He carried Paul inside and up the stairs. He gave him a drink of water and the orange chewable aspirin he like and sat with him on the bed, holding his hand...This was what he yearned to capture on film: these rare moments where the world seemed unified, coherent, everything contained in a single fleeting image. A spareness that held beauty and hope and motion - a kind of silvery poetry, just as the body was poetry in blood and flesh and bone.
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Though Lexington is not a small town, it sometimes feels like one, with circles of acquaintance overlapping once, then again; the person you meet by chance at the library or the pool may turn out to be the best friend of your down-the-street neighbor. Maybe that's why people are so friendly here, so willing to be unhurried.
It's kind of a mysterious process, but something will catch my attention, and I'll make a note about it. I may even write a few pages about it, and then I'll put it aside, but I'll sort of keep it in mind. Then as time goes on, other things will gather to it as if it's a magnet, almost, and eventually, there's enough to make the story.