It's funny because I was in Elliot Bay Book Company last Christmas (a few months ago) looking for gifts when I noticed Short Talks on the Staff Recommends shelf. It seemed familiar but also new. I opened it up, read pg. 35, loved it, and bought it without thinking.
I started reading it today, and I got to pg. 44 to a piece entitled "Short Talk on Le Bonheur D'etre Bien Aimee". I realized suddenly that I had encountered this piece before, that it was not new at all. It was published in 1992 I discovered, and the last time I'd read it was when I was 26 in the year 2010. I was in a relationship with a person who I truly was in love with as much as I possibly could be in love at the time (this diminishment is because I was also very immature and unsure about what love really requires). Yet the feeling of love was there. When I read that piece at the time, I cried spontaneously because it was so precise. And when I read it today, that moment connected to this moment in a perfect circle, a feeling traveling back and through time in an infinite loop. I'm awestruck by Carson's ability to deliver through images created by words such brilliant emotions.
Day after day I think of you as soon as I wake
up. Someone has put cries of birds on the
air like jewels.
The title means the joy of being beloved.
Here are some other excerpts:
"Short Talk on Where to Travel" (pg. 35)
I went travelling to a wreck of a place. There
were three gates standing ajar and a fence
that broke off. It was not the wreck of any-
thing else in particular. A place came there
and crashed. After that it remained the
wreck of a place. Light fell on it.
"Short Talk on Gertrude Stein About 9:30 p.m." (pg. 31)
How curious. I had no idea! Today has
from "Short Talk on Geisha" (pg. 30)
[...] The important thing was,
someone to yearn for. Whether the quilt
was too long, or the night was too long, or you
were given this place to sleep or that place
to sleep, someone to wait for until she is
coming along and the grass is stirring, a
tomato in her palm.
"Short Talk on the End" (pg. 52)
What is the difference between light and
lighting? There is an etching called The
Three Crosses by Rembrandt. It is a picture of
the earth and the sky and calvary. A moment
rains down on them, the plate grows darker.
Darker. Rembrandt wakens you just in time
to see matter stumble out of its forms.