Friday, August 28, 2015

Epigraph

  1. an inscription on a building, statue, or coin.
    • a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.



“When you see me killing something you should reason that it will want to kill me back, she screamed.”
Russell Edson, “The Difficulty With a Tree


Setting out to conquer something as illusive as writing a story by attacking it with vigor or piercing it with insight, might cause the words to fight back or at least try to elude a writer. Besides, brute force seems so much easier than luring something as shadowy and slippery as a story.

My eyes roam over a scene in a quiet restaurant. Can I craft it onto the page so that days later a reader can be here with me? 

A bartender’s shadow flickers into my light. I glance over but only up to his knees. He has unusually short limbs, I think. He pulls on a beer faucet to fill a glass. Cool, someone is having beer for lunch. I turn my gaze toward the window and stare at the sunlight pouring into the room. Dust particles dance on the air as if fairies in a child’s imaginary garden. Overhead, discordant sounds hurl into the room through speakers as someone’s idea of music. I fidget; it’s too early for my lunch date.

How to seek a story? I can see that pushing a story into existence could be a step toward my own demise. There must be a gentler approach? Perhaps a sidelong glance or an invitation to regularly be together? The muses seem to be perpetually on vacation unless they are visited, cajoled, or enticed daily by showing up with presence, patience, and a willingness to follow their lead.

Stop trying to kill what you seek.