I just read a piece about perception, compassion, thoughtfulness, and a broad understanding built, over time, through local experience. It has some of the most piquant writing I’ve ever read. Almost every sentence contains a reversal that’s beautifully constructed and effective at engaging both heart and mind. Because of the writing, I’m posting the link here.
NY Times Op Ed by Anand Giriharadas — Letter from India: Once-Clear Thoughts Are Clouded
There they were, all in a row, crowding the wires strung high over the street, balanced over tight-gripping claws, looking something like small crows. They were sparrows.
Last night I fell asleep under only a sheet. There was a chill rain all night, and my windows were open. Later I woke from the cold. My right hand was tracing the name of the man I love in the sheets, which was surprising and memorable.
While meditating the other day, these visions flowed in:
their white lace and cream
the etchiness of oaks
Reach for the sky,
the sap’s up!
As sweet and raw as a wood fire
and sad as the sea.
What to do?
© 21 Apr 2009, Heather Quinn, all rights reserved
On the weekend, I read an article in the NYTimes about Frederick Seidel, whom I’d never heard of. He reads six of his own poems in a multimedia piece attached to the article. His six readings, which last less than a quarter of an hour, taught me more about what I do wrong when writing than anything I’ve ever come across.